Hilaire Belloc bought King's Land (in Shipley, Sussex), 5 acres and a working windmill for £1000 in 1907 and it was his home for the rest of his life. Belloc loved Sussex as few other writers have loved her: he lived there for most of his 83 years, he tramped the length and breadth of the county, slept under her hedgerows, drank in her inns, sailed her coast and her rivers and wrote several incomparable books about her. "He does not die that can bequeath Some influence to the land he knows, Or dares, persistent, interwreath Love permanent with the wild hedgerows; He does not die, but still remains Substantiate with his darling plains."

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Monday, 2 June 2014

Sussex Guided Walks and History Heritage Days...


Guided walks with Chris Hare, £5 per person

Sunday 13th July, 11am – 12.30pm.
Chichester Walls Walk.
Meet at the northern entrance of Chichester railway station.
Chichester is one of very few towns in England that still retains its city walls – even more impressively, while other towns have walls dating back to medieval times, Chichester’s walls date back to Roman times. This walk will transport you back over nearly two thousand years of history, recalling the decay of the Roman city and its subsequent rebuilding and refortification in medieval times. You will hear how the French seized the city during the reign of King John, and how Parliamentary forces laid siege to Chichester during the English Civil War.

Sunday 13th July, 2.30 – 4.00pm.
Chichester: historic streets and buildings.
Meet by the statue of St. Richard by the Cathedral entrance off West Street.
Despite the appearance of being a Georgian town, most of the city’s buildings were refronted in the eighteenth century, hiding their true antiquity. Much of Chichester remains Tudor and medieval. This walk begins at the Cathedral – a building that has suffered fire, earthquake and being hit be a lightning bolt! This walk will include the great homes of city merchants, such as Edes House and Pallant House, and the great civic and commercial buildings of the city, such as the Butter Market and the Corn Exchange. Your ‘second guide’ will be W.H.Hudson, whose visit to the city in 1899, led him to write an account of Chichester that scandalised the city!

Sunday 20th July, 11am – 12.30pm.
Burpham: Anglo-Saxon Fortress
Meet outside the George and Dragon (the only pub in the village).
What secrets this little downland village still retains! Few people today, walking through Burpham on a country hike or having a meal at the George and Dragon, would guess that Burpham was once a great Anglo-Saxon fortress during the reign of Alfred the Great. Nor would they know what celebrated writers lie buried in its ancient churchyard. Truly, there are surprises a plenty in Burpham, including the legends of the Leper’s Path and of Jack Upperton the Highwayman. You will be surprised how much you learn about the heritage of England in this one walk!

Sunday 20th July, 2.30 – 4.00pm
Arundel: Castle, River, and Town.
Meet at Arundel railway station.
“Since William rose, and Harold fell, there have been Earls at Arundel,” so proclaims a local ditty that celebrates the fact that for nearly one thousand years, since the days of the Norman Conquest, great earls, and latterly, dukes, have resided in the castle at Arundel. Not surprisingly, many dramatic moments in English history have been played out in the town and more than one noble lord ended his life facing the executioner’s axe! We will explore the backstreets of Arundel, unfolding many fascinating tales from the days when Arundel was a port town with a reputation that was not always savoury!

 Heritage History Days - £20

These Heritage History Days will be held in the convenient surroundings of Worthing’s Sidney Walter Centre. Each day will include illustrated talks and discussions, with free hand-outs to take home. There will be breaks for tea and coffee, with reasonably priced lunches available from the local pub, The Swan, between 1 and 2pm. For more information about lunches look at www.coxinns.com/theswan  Tea, coffee and biscuits will be supplied free at the Sidney Walter Centre. Those not wishing to buy a lunch at the Swan are welcome to bring a packed lunch.

Saturday 26th July,  10am – 4pm
Smuggling Days in Sussex – a true and deadly history
Sidney Walter Centre, Sussex Road, Worthing. BN11 1DS
Welcome to the Wild West, that is the Wild West Sussex of the eighteenth century! Violent skirmishes between dragoons and smugglers in the 1740s at Goring and Arundel led to fatalities on both sides. The brutal murder of thirteen year old Richard Hawkins by smugglers in 1747 led to the gang finally being brought to justice. Not all smugglers were murderers, many turned to the ‘wicked trade’ as a result of poverty and were seen as ‘Robin Hood’s’ by local people. This day will include the stories of John Olliver, the ‘Mad Miller’ of Highdown, of William Cowerson of Steyning, and of George Ransley of Romney Marsh and his notorious gang of smugglers known as ‘The Roaring Ransleys’. The day will include a look at the causes of smuggling and why it so quickly declined after 1840.

Saturday 2nd August, 9.30am – 6pm
Edwardian Sussex and the First World War + screening of ‘Oh, Water a Lovely War’.
Sidney Walter Centre, Sussex Road, Worthing. BN11 1DS, film screening, Pier Pavilion, Worthing.
This is a very special day. In the morning, Chris will talk about life in Edwardian Sussex in the years leading up to the outbreak of war, and then chart the terrible impact of the war on local communities. In the afternoon Chris, and Worthing Journal editor, Paul Holden, will be leading tours on Worthing Pier, as part of a day of commemorative events to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of hostilities on 4th August 1914. At 3.15pm there will be a special screening of ‘Oh, What a Lovely War,’ which will include the live performance of First World War songs. Tickets for the screening are on sale for £10, but the ticket price is included in the cost of this Heritage History Day.
The morning session at the Sidney Walter Centre will take a close look at life in the years leading up to war, including the impact of militant suffragettes, and the campaign to eradicate drunkenness – seen as a scourge of Sussex towns at that time. The terrible impact of war will then be considered, not just the terrible loss of life, but also the social changes that the war brought in its wake: the decline of the old rural culture, with its ancient customs and traditions.
Starting at 1pm on Worthing Pier, Chris and Paul will use an illustrative timeline, laid out on the pier, to chart the chronology  of the First World War and the major events happening locally. The screening of ‘Oh, What a Lovely War’ will include ‘extras’, such as live performances from the Southwick Players and soldiers songs of the time. There will be an interval at 4.30pm, with the screening ending at 6pm. There will also be a ‘surprise’ ending!

Saturday 6th September, 10.30am – 4.30pm
A Day out at Glynde and Mount Caburn
Meet at the Trevor Arms, next to Glynde railway station. BN8 6SS
Glynde, near Lewes is a very precious survival – a Sussex village that still feels alive – a working village, with a pub and a village shop, all bristling with history. For centuries the Morleys and then the Trevors were the resident gentry. Glynde Place – a gracious Elizabethan country house was, and still remains, the seat of the local landowner, Viscount Hampden. There is much to explore and discover in the village, including the unusual Georgian parish church and the old blacksmith’s shop that appears to be straight out of ‘The Lord of the Rings’.
After lunch we will venture up onto Mount Caburn – which enjoys one of the most splendid views to be found on the South Downs. Caburn is steeped in the mystery of prehistoric times and, despite, numerous archaeological excavations, still refuses to give up its secrets. The evidence of human activity on Caburn dates back 4000 years, although the earthwork embankment and ditch date from 400 BC. Was it a hillfort or a place of ritual where religious rites were performed?
In more recent times, John Ellman of Glynde, pastured his famous South Downs breed of sheep here over two hundred years ago. At Caburn fact, folklore and fiction seem to roll together with effortless ease.

To end the day, Chris will give a talk at the Trevor Arms on the turbulent life of Herbert Morley of Glynde, who was a key figure on the Parliamentary side in Sussex during the English Civil War and spent twenty years fighting for his beliefs against both King Charles and, later, Cromwell.

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