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