I decided to start my Sussex Day walk from Henfield, Sussex and more specifically from St Peter’s Church, Henfield. Henfield was the home to my TROWER ancestors (and the many others families that they married) for something like 300 years, and of course the church was an important part of this, with numerous baptisms, marriages and burials taking place here over the centuries.
From the church my route took me back down to the High Street and then continued on a path that ran almost in a striaght line due east for almost two miles. At the end of this path was a little hamlet called Blackstone. The path was a perfect transition from the built up (it would be hard to actually call it urban) village of Henfield and out into the Sussex countryside.
From Henfield High Street the path began as a normal residential street (Furners Lane), this gradually changed to a country lane, then to a sunken lane and further still a green lane and finally little more than a normal footpath (if I didn’t have a hundred and one other things to do I would love to find out the history of that path).
Along the path, gaps in the hedgerows afforded two contrasting views. To the north was the flat Sussex countryside and to the south was the hills of the South Downs in the distance.
This was only the second time I had been through Blackstone, and I didn’t even know it was there until last year. As far as I know there are no ancestral connections here and no parish church (it is part of Woodmancote parish I believe).
There is very little in Blackstone other than houses, as well as no church, there was no pub or shops either as far as I could see. When I saw on the map there was a public telephone here I expected to find an iconic red telephone box. I should have known better, instead there was an ugly modern kiosk on the side of a row of houses, so disappointing.