Blue Plaque for Sir Frederick and Lady Sybil Stern

Written by Mrs Susan Belton, Worthing Society Chair.

A new Blue Plaque for Sir Frederick and Lady Sybil Stern to commemorate their life and work at Highdown Gardens has recently been unveiled on the The Highdown Hotel, the former home of the Sterns.

The current owners, 'Brunning and Price', have recently carried out a sensitive restoration of the building and kindly gave their permission for the plaque to be installed. It is sited on the east facing elevation of the building.

The Blue Plaque for Sir Frederick and Lady Sybil Stern

Highdown Gardens and The Highdown Hotel are located within the South Downs National Park (SDNP) who have their own planning authority. The necessary consents were obtained from the SDNP and supported by their Conservation Officer and Historic Adviser, David Boyson. It took several months to make all the necessary arrangements.

The Blue Plaque dedication took place at The Highdown, former home of the Sterns, on 8th October 2020. It was originally hoped the event would have taken place in April 2020, but it was deferred due to the lock down situation.

It was unveiled by the Mayor of Worthing, Cllr Lionel Harman. The Mayoress of Worthing, Cllr Karen Harman, was also in attendance, together with Cllr Paul Baker and Mrs Baker. 

The Mayor of Worthing, Councillor Lionel Harman, unveiling the blue plaque

West Sussex Historian Chis Hare gave an address at the unveiling. David Boyson, Historic Adviser to the South Downs National Park, and Judy Fox from Adur & Worthing Councils also attended together with Worthing Society Committee members. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions the guest list had to be kept to a minimum to be compliant with the necessary safeguards.

The Worthing Society is a registered charity and were honoured to donate the Blue Plaque in tribute to Sir Frederick and Lady Stern, creators of Highdown Gardens. We were fortunate to receive a generous donation from one of our members towards funding the plaque. The artwork for the plaque was donated by our Vice-Chairman and local artist.

During the last 15 years the Worthing Society has donated several plaques to the town and have created a number of leaflets and a Blue Plaque Heritage Trail. To download them please see: 

The Society considers that the Blue Plaque Trail is a very contemporary and visual way of highlighting the town's social and architectural history. They can also stimulate interest and research into our Worthing's unique heritage.

To ask us a question please see: 

See also: Information about Sir Fredrick Stern

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