Lurgashall - Lickfold - Circular

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Updated with revisions January 2011.

Having found Lurgashall, if you can drag yourself away from the pub, the village cricket pitch, the church and the general ambiance, the route takes you through quiet woods and farmland, with great views of Bexley Hill and Black Down but without any steep climbs. It is a very pleasant and quite easy walk to finish with a pub lunch!

The name Lurgashall is Saxon. It means 'aula' or hall of Leotegar who, in about 495AD, found a convenient clearing in the Wealden forest in which he decided to settle. In due course his descendants were converted to Christianity and built the first St Laurence's Church.

St Laurence's Church: Nothing remains of the original wooden Saxon building. The tower, with its pointed arch, is Norman. The interesting and unusual cloister was added in the 16th Century and the present font, of Sussex Marble, was first used in the 17th Century after the restored Charles II had reintroduced the Prayer Book and the ceremony of Baptism. The lectern was presented in 1897 in memory of Alfred Lord Tennyson who lived nearby – at Aldworth, up on Black Down - and was a regular worshipper here.

The Noah's Ark Inn: In 1557 a village inn was built at the side of the green. Ever since records began in about 1700, it has been known as 'The Noah's Ark', possibly because patrons had to cross a pond outside to gain entry. It was apparently the local headquarters of the 'Captain Swing' agricultural workers' riots of 1830. It was acquired by the present brewers, Greene King, in 1990.

Lurgashall Watermill: The mill continued to operate until 1935, grinding mainly animal feed. Like so many other village mills, its trade declined because it could not compete with more modern technology. Presented to the Weald and Downland Museum in 1973, it was carefully dismantled, stone by stone, beam by beam, eventually taking seven years to transport and restore.

Lickfold: During WW2, aircraft from both the RAF and the Luftwaffe crashing or crash-landing on woods and farmland was a regular occurrence, especially in the South East of England. With the war drawing to a close, the last aircraft incident remembered locally was a Spitfire of 310 Squadron, lost on 2nd May 1945. Flt Sgt. Kratochvil, a Czech, crash-landed with engine failure in a ploughed field at Upperfold Farm. The Spitfire broke up, overturned and caught fire, trapping the pilot under the wreckage. Fortunately he was pulled clear and taken to hospital. He recovered fully from his injuries and in 1948 returned to live in England.

Lurgashall Winery: Lurgashall is probably best known these days for the Winery. Since 1985, the Winery has developed into an enterprise that attracts some 35,000 visitors annually, employs 22 staff, has more than 1,000 regular customers and produces 500,000 bottles of country wines, meads and liqueurs annually.

On 31st March 2010 the South Downs became Britain's newest National Park and the tenth to be designated in England. It is over 1,600km square and stretches 100 miles from the edge of Winchester to Beachy Head. The park is home to over 108,000 people and includes the towns of Petersfield, Midhurst and Lewes.

England - South England - West Sussex - Countryside

Features

Birds, Church, Flowers, Food Shop, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Industrial Archaeology, Lake/Loch, National Trust, Pub, Public Transport, Restaurant, River, Wildlife, Woodland
15/05/2014 - lynette coates

This walk starts from the village green. There are car parking bays near to the pub and church. This is a moderately easy walk however there are a few slopes and uphill tracks but nothing too strenuous. A pretty walk with lots of old houses and buildings to see along the way. When passing the mill the lake was being emptied and dredging was to be started. Lots of stiles on this walk have been replaced either with gates or are now just gaps in hedges. Ideal times to do this walk are in April to May for the bluebells and the summer months into autumn. Not advisable in winter as you do share the odd bridle way with horses. Depending on the month you might have to go through fields with cows however we did not encounter any but just had long grass up to our hips in places to have to plough through which is better than cows!!! Suggested picnic stops would be when you get to number 14 as after this point you do have to walk through lots of fields with possible cattle. The old inn half way round which Chris Evans used to own is now sold and is being renovated. With about a mile to go you do pass the winery which has its own tearoom so if you need a break then that's a good place to rest. An interesting walk with plenty of shady spots along the way through old woodland.

10/08/2011 - Arnold Cohen

Soleranger – 6 August 2011 Pleasant varied walk started by witnessing delightful build-up to wedding at St Laurence's Church, culminating in bride's arrival in vintage car coming round village green, with cricketers stopping to applaud! Instructions were fine but had to deviate at 17 because a group of a dozen or so bullocks would not let us pass and in fact persisted in advancing towards us. Doubled back and went instead on the wrong side of the fence along right-hand edge of field. The footing and brambles were awkward at times, but it was only about 100 yards and therefore doable. At the far end, just beyond the gate at 18, helped each other over corner of 3ft fence topped by barbed wire. (Someone on their own might have found this more tricky.) After that proceeded to 19 and no further problems.

03/08/2010 - Julia Webb-Harvey

We did this walk yesterday, and thoroughly enjoyed it! A lovely gentle ramble through mixed scenery on a glorious sunny day... Your directions are excellent. The boggy section (step 12) was still boggy, despite a month or so of very little rain, but the slope down was completely dry (step 14) - there are steps down but these are completely buried by fallen leaves. The Morris Minor (Step 5) seems to have been removed! At 13, there is a sign, but it's rather overtaken by the hedge. The Courts Yard sign is there (Step 26) again, and it now seems to be a caravan park. The only part we were confused was at 22, where there now seems to be a stile to climb and 17, where there must have been boundary changes, as the metal gate isn't there! To cap it all, when we returned back to Lurgashall, there was a cricket match being played on the village green. Super!

10/09/2009 - Sherridan Thomas

Lovely walk which we did on a glorious Indian summer September day (09). The delapidated Morris Minor is still there! Couldn't bring ourselves to go past the Lickfold Inn without stopping. Can recommend, food very good (but rather expensive). Waymark 12: The several fields appear to have become one. When we went through the wooden gate (harassed by a herd of boisterous bullocks!) we found that the finger post had been torn down and that we needed to turn left to find the boggy ground, rather than go through the gate on our right. Waymark 26: Again the fingerpost had been torn down and the sign for Courts Yard is no longer there. Instead there is a sign for Garden Cottage. The wide track is now metalled.

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