A Little Something for 2020

3Cs Scotney

Explore the history and the industrial past of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, on a walk between the four great National Trust properties; Bodiam Castle, Sissinghurst Castle, Scotney Castle and Bateman’s.

Re-walked, revised and updated for 2019, the guidebook takes you on a journey through an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty across Kent and East Sussex

“It’s a highly original work and the well-written guidebook is full of interesting historical information including smugglers’ tales, rebellions, industry and murders.” Walk, the magazine of The Ramblers, March 2016.

From History Walks, Talks and Books – More than just footsteps on a Path.

For more information visit: www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

Next Talk– Walking the High Weald

Three Castles and an Ironmaster’s House

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Look Inside http://online.pubhtml5.com/uslz/gnfe/

This talk is an engaging account of a walk between four National Trust properties; Bodiam Castle, Sissinghurst Castle, Scotney Castle and Bateman’s, that explores the history and the industrial past of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, in this part of Kent and East Sussex.

And such a varied landscape brings together tales to tell of Mad Jack Fuller and Bloody Baker, Admiral ‘Foulweather Jack’ Norris, and Captain Swing. There are tales of smugglers and Mechanical riots, Napoleon’s horse, aliens in Robertsbridge and, of course, that ‘vengeful dragon’ in Angley Wood.  Three Castles and an Ironmaster’s House will take you on a picturesque and enjoyable tour of the High Weald – without getting mud on your boots.

From History Walks, Talks and Books – More than just footsteps on a Path.

For more information visit: www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

Next Talk– Walking the High Weald

Three Castles and an Ironmaster’s House

2019 3 Cs Polegate

Look Inside http://online.pubhtml5.com/uslz/gnfe/

This talk is an engaging account of a walk between four National Trust properties; Bodiam Castle, Sissinghurst Castle, Scotney Castle and Bateman’s, that explores the history and the industrial past of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, in this part of Kent and East Sussex.

And such a varied landscape brings together tales to tell of Mad Jack Fuller and Bloody Baker, Admiral ‘Foulweather Jack’ Norris, and Captain Swing. There are tales of smugglers and Mechanical riots, Napoleon’s horse, aliens in Robertsbridge and, of course, that ‘vengeful dragon’ in Angley Wood.  Three Castles and an Ironmaster’s House will take you on a picturesque and enjoyable tour of the High Weald – without getting mud on your boots.

From History Walks, Talks and Books – More than just footsteps on a Path.

For more information visit: www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

Talking the Walk

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This talk is an engaging account of a walk between four National Trust properties; Bodiam Castle, Sissinghurst Castle, Scotney Castle and Bateman’s, that explores the history and the industrial past of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, in this part of Kent and East Sussex.

Three Castles is an opportunity to take the time to explore the castles and houses and towns and villages along the route. It follows man’s ingenuity and progress and a changing industry from agriculture to iron, to sheep, to the woollen trade, smuggling, hopfields and back to agriculture.

There is a soul to the High Weald; one that reflects the passions and industry of man and also the tensions of war and rebellion. It is now a very pastoral picture with only occasional reminders of the noise, smoke and fire of the iron industry. The ironmasters and the rich woollen trade are survived by their architecture at Sissinghurst, Cranbrook and Burwash and Brightling. The derelict hoppickers cottages, next to the River Teise in Lamberhurst, provide a startling contrast to the rich and landed.

And such a varied landscape brings together tales to tell of Mad Jack Fuller and Bloody Baker, Admiral ‘Foulweather Jack’ Norris, and Captain Swing. There are tales of smugglers and Mechanical riots, Napoleon’s horse, aliens in Robertsbridge and, of course, that ‘vengeful dragon’ in Angley Wood.

For information on this and other talks visit:        www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

The Vengeful Fire Breathing Dragon of Angley Wood.

Stories of the High Weald

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Thank you to the Friends of Dover Museum who gave me a warm welcome and who were happy to listen to my illustrated talk on Three Castles and an Ironmaster’s House on Wednesday 8th June 2016 in the wonderful Silver Screen Cinema attached to the Museum.

Three Castles and an Ironmaster’s House is a 50 mile journey around the history and industry of the High Weald of Outstanding Natural Beauty with the four great National Trust properties of Bodiam Castle, Sissinghurst Castle, Scotney Castle and Bateman’s being the cornerstones of the walk.

It is a story of agriculture to iron and back to agriculture and is inspired by stories of Castles, follies, smuggling, Captain Swing, the mechanical riots and that ‘vengeful fire breathing dragon’ that lives in Angley Wood.

Shelf Life

Those National Trust cornerstones of ‘Three Castles and an Ironmaster’s House’; Bodiam Castle, Sissinghurst Castle, Scotney Castle and Bateman’s now have the guidebook on their shelves and available sale in their shops for all to enjoy this 50 mile circular walk around the history of the High Weald.

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3Cs Cover

  Published by Bretwalda Books

  Supplied by Mayfield Books and Gifts

 

 

 

A Treasure Trove of History in the High Weald

Three Castles and an Ironmaster’s House

The new History Walk from the author of 1066 Harold’s Way

3Cs Cover

There is a treasure trove of history in the High Weald.

Three Castles and an Ironmaster’s House is a walk that discovers the history and beauty of the High Weald and explores the castles and houses and towns and villages along the route.

At the heart of ‘Three Castles’ are Bodiam and Scotney Castles, built to defend against a French invasion. Sissinghurst Castle’s foundation was from the wealth of wool and Bateman’s from the noise and clamour of iron. Once at the heart of England’s iron industry the High Weald’s furnace fires have long gone and the works of man have returned to farming.

But Three Castles and an Ironmaster’s House is more than just footsteps, it allows the imagination to be part of the history that brings the High Weald to life.

  • Stand where the Riot Act was read on Benenden Green
  • Marvel at Mad Jack’s Follies and climb the Tower
  • Search for the smuggler’s graves in Burwash Churchyard
  • Repel the Hawkhurst Gang at Goudhurst
  • Imagine life as a hop-picker in the cottages by the River Teise and much more

There are tales of smugglers, Napoleon’s horse, aliens in Robertsbridge, Mad Jack Fuller, Bloody Baker, Admiral ‘Foulweather Jack’ Norris, and the Captain Swing mechanical riots that swept the country in the early 19th century.

But be careful when you walk for there’s a ‘Vengeful Dragon’ hiding in Angley Wood.

Three Castles and an Ironmaster’s House is available from:

  • Amazon, Foyles, Waterstones and all good bookshops.
  • Price: £9.99
  • ISBN: 9781910440056
  • Publisher: Bretwalda Books

Talks The Speakers List

Books:

  • 1066 Harold’s Way
  • Three Castles and an Ironmaster’s House
  • The Saxon Times publication 2016

Short Walks

  • A Green St Leonards Walk
  • 1066 Two Battle Circular Walks
  • 1066 Bodiam Castle to Battle Abbey via Vinehall

They Collected All The Stickers

Walk 1 label Walk 2 label - Landscape

Walk 3 lable Walk 4 lable

Walk 5 label

A Just Reward

Beer, a certificate and just happy to finish this 55 mile circular walk in Kent and East Sussex between the four National Trust properties of Bodiam Castle, Sissinghurst Castle, Scotney Castle and Bateman’s that make up Three Castles and an Ironmaster’s House.

The first full walk through, divided into five sections, was completed in 2014, to check that the walk worked before publication that resulted in some minor adjustments to the route.

It was a good walk and there was hardly any rain and for most of the time it was warm and not unsurprisingly it was hot for all the steeper climbs.

We always ended in a pub garden to toast the walk, issue stickers for the passports and plan the next walk. For the final two sections we were joined by Judy and Daphne, dog walking Poppy and Shadow, who would all go on to complete the full walk in 2015.

Highlights were the views, the history, the watering holes and the Castles, picnics along the way and friendships renewed between walkers from Derby, London and closer to home, Ewhurst Green and Flimwell. The low points were the steep climb up to Burwash after a long walk on a hot day and the jungle that is called Darwell Reservoir Woods. Both routes were subsequently changed for more enjoyable paths.

They were all good pubs and a toast to you all, but some touched the spot on the day and they were The Swan at Sandhurst, The White Hart Cranbrook on Hannah’s birthday, The Globe and Rainbow at Kilndown on a hot Saturday and Robertsbridge’s unique and atmospheric Ostrich.

Walking Three Castle and an Ironmaster’s House experiences the unique history and beauty of the High Weald.

Enjoy the time exploring the castles and houses and towns and villages along the route and follow the progress of a changing industrial landscape from agriculture to iron, to sheep, to the woollen trade, smuggling, hopfields and back to agriculture.

I walked it because of the history but you can walk it as you want, in short stages, long stages or even all in one go. Whatever you do the High Weald is there to be enjoyed.

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Watch Out, Watch Out, There’s a Dragon About

 

Three Castles and an Ironmaster’s House

The High Weald is no bleak moor guarded by grey granite hillsides that rise from the dark peat, a landscape with no trees to soften the horizon. It is a much softer countryside of rolling hills, rivers, woods and hedgerows; of ridges and valleys and a patchwork of smaller fields. Farms and oasthouses scatter the view from almost every vantage point and all are connected by ancient roads, Roman roads and sunken lanes.

This walk explores the industrial history of this Southern Weald and connects four of the most outstanding National Trust properties in the South-East. The National Trust owns and acts as guardians for Bodiam Castle, Sissinghurst Castle, Scotney Castle and Bateman’s, which are the cornerstones of Three Castles and an Ironmaster’s House.

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From that most romantic Castle in all of England, rising from its moat, Three Castles sets out to admire the splendid but chequered history of Sissinghurst Castle, the fairy tale moated 14th century Scotney Castle with its tales of intrigue to the homely, sturdy Bateman’s built for the prosperous iron-master John Brittan but which later became the home of Rudyard Kipling.

Three Castles and an Ironmaster’s House is an opportunity to take the time to explore the castles and houses and towns and villages along the route. It follows man’s ingenuity and progress and the changing industry from agriculture to iron, to sheep, to the woollen trade, smuggling, hopfields and back to agriculture. There are smugglers’ tales, mechanical riots, furnace ponds and old iron workings, a vengeful dragon, hop-pickers and Napoleon’s horse. Leisurely bus journeys (if you can bear to leave the car at home) and the occasional pint in some hideaway pub – ‘so much of England is just around the corner’ said JB Priestley.

Three Castles and an Ironmaster’s House is a journey around the Weald with convenient access points at Tunbridge Wells and Hastings. The stations of South Eastern Trains cross the route in places and the ‘country bus’ serves as a reminder that almost all the walk is accessible albeit, at the behest of the ‘country bus’ timetable.

Three Castles         Enjoy Three Castles and an Ironmaster’s House

 

        Talks:   The Speaker’s List

Three Castles and an Ironmaster’s House

New Release

Looking for a great walk this year, then try this new route, written by the author of 1066 Harold’s Way, that will take you to some of the most beautiful scenery in Kent and Sussex.

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Available now from Amazon, Waterstones, Foyles and many other bookshops

Publisher: Bretwalda Books (14 May 2015)

ISBN-10: 1910440051

Price: £9.99

Summary

Discover ancient woodland, peaceful villages and enjoy the spectacular views of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in this 50 mile circular walk that links four great National Trust properties: Bodiam Castle, Sissinghurst Castle, Scotney Castle and Bateman’s.

They provide the inspiration to enjoy the High Weald and its unique cultural heritage, history and industry. Imagine a rolling countryside with few houses, a seemingly quiet landscape of great woods, trickling streams and remote country pubs.

This was once the heart of England’s iron industry but the furnace fires have long gone and the works of man have returned to farming. There are tales of smugglers and Mechanical riots, Napoleon’s horse and aliens in Robertsbridge.

But be careful when you walk for there’s a ‘vengeful dragon’ about in Angley Wood.

Website

www.1066haroldsway.co.uk