Ovingdean is a small former agricultural village between Kemptown and Rottingdean a mile or so from the coast with open downland to the east and west and a population of around 1200. Its name, which is Old English, means ‘the valley of Ofa’s people’, and the settlement has existed since Anglo-Saxon times. The old village is a conservation area in the middle of which is St Wulfran’s Church dating back to the eleventh-century. Magnus Volk, Charles Eamer Kempe, the renowned stained-glass window designer and Helena Normanton, one of the first female barristers and QCs are all buried in the churchyard.
Of the homes in the conservation area, many are converted farm buildings. The most notable houses include Ovingdean Grange, a Grade II listed manor house and one of the oldest and most historical residences in Brighton, and Ovingdean Hall, now an international language school, but once the home of Charles Kempe.
At the junction of Greenways and the South Coast Road is St Dunstan’s (now Blind Veterans UK) famous as a residential and rehabilitation centre for blind ex-service personnel.