Tag Archives: wolstonbury hill

Sussex Day 2009: Part 10 – Wolstonbury Hill to Hassocks

26 Jun

Having reached the top of Wolstonbury Hill the rest of my Sussex Day walk could only be downhill.

I considered the best way home, I could go west and down to Newtimber and Poynings and catch the bus. However that would have meant crossing the busy A23 which I wasn’t keen to do.

So instead I headed east, a path lead south a short way from the top of the hill and joined an east-west path which slowly descended towards Clayton. About half a mile along the path, another path lead north, into some shade and continued downhill and eventually out onto New Way Lane.

About a quarter of a mile east was the village of Clayton, there were only two things I knew about Clayton, the railway tunnel and the twin windmills of Jack and Jill. I discovered there was also a lovely little church with some quite stunning wall paintings, and a splendid graveyard with wonderful views of the South Downs, in fact it was almost on the Downs.

A path lead north from Clayton along the side of the railway line for about a mile, straight to Hassocks railway station, not surprising really considering it was following the railway line. It was just after four o’clock when I arrived at Hassocks railway station, just enough time to visit the local newsagents to buy some more drink, before catching a train to Brighton and a bus home.

Sussex Day 2009: Part 8 – Hazeldene Terrace to Hurstpierpoint Cemetery (hang on in there, I’ve almost reached the end!)

24 Jun

This stage of my Sussex Day walk was another quite short section with the destination being more interesting than the actual walk.

From Hazeldene Terrace it was a case of retracing my steps up Western Road, taking a short-cut through Manor Road onto Cuckfield Road and following that to the High Street. The cemetery is a short way along the High Street at the end of South Avenue.

A couple of relations are buried here or have their ashes interred here, although I only knew the exact location of one, my great grandfather Henry John TROWER. His grave is marked by a small headstone and a holly tree.

It occurs to me as I write this that my great grandfather has unintentionally become a constant theme running through this walk. He was baptised at Henfield Church, married (twice) at Sayers Common Church, lived at Vicarage Cottage, worked at Cobbs Mill, lived in Hazeldene Terrace, his funeral was held at Hurstpierpoint Church and he was buried in Hurstpierpoint Cemetery.

I wandered around the cemetery in the hope of discovering another relation, it wasn’t a methodical search, just a random wandering checking out the names. To my surprise I did find someone. A simple plaque marked the location of the ashes of William BURT, my great grandfather’s second wife’s second husband (we knew him as Uncle Bill, which was a lot easier).

I like Hurstpierpoint Cemetery, it is well looked after (the north-west corner has been kept uncut to allow wild flowers to grow) and still in use, it is quite small and compact, with a nice brick chapel and all enclosed by a solid brick wall, to the south the view is across to the South Downs and Wolstonbury Hill.

Sussex Day 2009: Part 6 – Hurst Wickham to Hurstpierpoint Church

22 Jun

Hurst Wickham is practically on the edge of Hurstpierpoint village, so it didn’t take long to get to the High Street, especially as I took a short cut, along a twitten which took me to St George’s Church.

I had no idea that there was a St George’s Church in Hurstpierpoint up to this point. It was a nice looking little church, but sadly it has now been closed and getting a little enclosed by the trees and undergrowth. A path leading around the back of the church took me through the St George’s Millennium Garden (quiet and some shade, with nice views to the north) and out into a residential area, and from there I found my way out onto the High Street.

I had several places to visit in Hurstpierpoint, and I began by making my way to Holy Trinity Church, stopping at a bakery along the way to buy a sandwich and some more drink. The church itself is next to a crossroads, and hemmed in by buildings and roads, so I didn’t attempt to get any photos. The church was open and it was nice to get inside and out of the sun for a while (sadly most of my photos inside didn’t come out very well, I should have had a tripod!).

The church is quite modern in terms of Sussex churches, built in 1843-45 to replace an earlier one. This is the church where my father was baptised (and his brother and sister). Several family marriages and one or two funerals have also taken place here, although I don’t believe there are any relations buried here.

For me the highlight was stepping round the back of the church and witnessing the wonderful view across to the South Downs. If there was an award for the graveyard with the best view, then Hurstpierpoint would be in the top ten. I found a bench in the churchyard and sat down and ate my sandwich. There was no shade and it was too hot to sit still for long in the midday sun so I soon moved on. After all there were still a couple of other places to visit before I could leave Hurstpierpoint.

What a way to spend Sussex Day!

16 Jun

Phew! Even by my standards that was quite a walk. Sitting on the bus on the way home my pedometer had registered 38,731 steps, that’s just short of 19 miles. Just to round things up I got off the bus a stop early and made it up to 20 miles with an extra little walk.

Sitting on the bus my legs were beginning to ache, not a lot of leg room. I just hoped they would still move when it was time to get off! Still nothing that a nice long soak in the bath won’t sort out.

My digital camera must have very nearly reached it’s capacity, although I did have a spare memory card with me, and spare batteries which I needed. So expect to see plenty of photos on this blog in the next few days and weeks. They are mostly of the Sussex scenery, but there are several churches and several ancestral connections.

I will try and plot my route on a Google Map, but for those interested the key places were: Henfield (starting point), Blackstone, Sayers Common, Hurst Wickham, Hurstpierpoint, Wolstonbury Hill, Clayton and Hassocks (finishing point). I will give a full description when I have recovered (an early night tonight I think) pointing out the genealogical highlights along the way!

I am really pleased I went walking, it was a beautiful day, perhaps a little warm at times (and a bit of a rush to get back home). I visited several areas I had never been to before and reacquainted myself with some I haven’t visited for a long time. Most of all however I enjoyed being out in Sussex, in what I would consider typical Sussex countryside, on Sussex Day.

Here is one photo to be going on with, Sussex stretched out beneath me, as I surveyed the countyside from the vantage point of Wolstonbury Hill.

Sussex as far as the eye can see (although there may be some Surrey tucked away right at the back)

Sussex as far as the eye can see (although there may be some Surrey tucked away right at the back)

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