Virtual Walks – Walking the High Weald 4: Bateman’s to Bodiam Castle

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Bateman’s is the fourth cornerstone of this Walk around the High Weald.

Bateman’s is Kipling, enticed by its warmth and seclusion, nestling below Burwash by the River Dudwell, and is the start of the climb up to Brightling Needle, just one of Mad Jack Fuller’s Follies. There is a Pyramid in the churchyard and a Tower on the path to Darwell Reservoir. The Observatory can just be seen but Mad Jack was not all just fun, for it was he that saved Bodiam Castle from demolition, thank you Jack.

At Robertsbridge, Three Castles returns to a lowland valley walk where once ‘Hoppicker’s Specials’ ran from Robertsbridge Station towards Bodiam Castle and beyond. The trains may return once the line is restored but for the moment the final few miles must be walked.

History Walks: Virtual Walks from Your Doorstep

Virtual Walks are taken from

Walking the High Weald – Three Castles and an Ironmaster’s House.

History Walks Talks and Books

http://www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

 Enjoy the walk but please do not travel any distances to do the walk.
Due to the Coronavirus situation, follow the Government guidelines of social distancing and going out once a day for a local walk for physical and mental health benefits only.

Virtual Walks – Walking the High Weald 3: Scotney Castle to Bateman’s

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Scotney Castle is the third of our castles. The secrecy and spies of Castle intrigue were but a diversion from the job of making money.  By the 17th century, the iron furnaces between Lamberhurst and Burwash were being stoked for the production of cannon, grave slabs and the railings for St Paul’s, London.

Wadhurst, long identified as standing on a prehistoric ridgeway, once had 36 ironworks within six miles and 24 local families were owners and operators of the furnaces and forges.

There is little evidence left of such industry on the way to Burwash and Batemans, along the River Rother and its tributaries, but in the churchyard at Burwash look for the ‘Skull and Crossbones’ that marked the graves of smugglers, hanged as their penalty for falling foul of the Revenue Men.

History Walks: Virtual Walks from Your Doorstep

Virtual Walks are taken from

Walking the High Weald – Three Castles and an Ironmaster’s House.

History Walks Talks and Books

http://www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

 Enjoy the walk but please do not travel any distances to do the walk.
Due to the Coronavirus situation, follow the Government guidelines of social distancing and going out once a day for a local walk for physical and mental health benefits only.

Virtual Walks – Walking the High Weald 2: Sissinghurst Castle to Scotney Castle

Dreams of Summer Walks

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Sissinghurst Castle is the second of our castles but this ‘castle’ is attributed to whim and whimsey as it never saw a battle or defend anything more than its ‘far from pleasant situation, low in a wet clayey soil, without prospect, and enveloped with large tracts of surrounding woodland.’ (Edward Hasted 1798). Today it is one of the most visited gardens in England and the National Trust tearooms provide a welcome relief after Hemsted Wood.

Cranbrook, at the centre of the woollen trade, heralds the start of climbs up to ridges, descents to the valleys and the streams and rivers that once provided the power for the Wealden iron furnaces. Avoiding the vengeful dragon that lurks in Angley Wood, the path leads up to Goudhurst with its stories of the infamous Hawkhurst smuggling gang.

History Walks: Virtual Walks from Your Doorstep

Virtual Walks are taken from

Walking the High Weald – Three Castles and an Ironmaster’s House.

History Walks Talks and Books

www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

Enjoy the walk but please do not travel any distances to do the walk.
Due to the Coronavirus situation, follow the Government guidelines of social distancing and going out once a day for a local walk for physical and mental health benefits only.

Virtual Walks – Walking the High Weald 1: Bodiam Castle to Sissinghurst Castle

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Possibly the most beautiful castle in all of England, rising up from its moat, built to guard what was once the Appledore Estuary against a French Invasion. Follow the route along the flood plain of the River Rother and across the ancient Kent Ditch into meadow and pasture, mature trees and woods and isolated houses and farms that are the only habitation until Sandhurst.

The wealth of Sandhurst was not built on iron, but on farming, sheep and wool and later, no doubt, smuggling played its part too. The same can be said of Benenden with its beautiful green, one of the best and biggest in Kent, that resounds to cricket on lazy days in the summer.

History Walks: Virtual Walks from Your Doorstep

Virtual Walks are taken from

Walking the High Weald – Three Castles and an Ironmaster’s House.

History Walks Talks and Books

http://www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

Enjoy the walk but please do not travel any distances to do the walk.
Due to the Coronavirus situation, follow the Government guidelines of social distancing and going out once a day for a local walk for physical and mental health benefits only.

Talking The Walk – Hawkhurst Local History Society

3 Castles Hawkhurst Local History GroupThis 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.

Talking the Walk

3 Castles Cranbrook U3A

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

Walking the High Weald

Talking the Walk

3 Castles Blind Vets Pt 2

The second part of the story, from Goudhurst to Bodiam with tales of Papal spies, murder, furnaces and forges, Mad Jack Fuller and aliens in Roberstbridge

www.1066haroldsway.co.uk/talks 

Tragedy at Iden Green

This Bird is dead, deceased, gone to meet its Maker.

The Woodcock is no more.

IMGP2132 cropWhat sad tragedy it is that walkers will never feel the warmth again of the fire on winter walks or sit in the garden on a summer’s day.

Isolated and weather boarded, remote down its country lane that led to Dingleden and little else, it was supported and enjoyed by all who discovered its charms.

It was always a walk leader’s nightmare for every group would want to stop and savour its delights and bang their heads on the beams inside. The Woodcock sat by the footpath from Sissinghurst to Bodiam Castle and I found its charms irresistible when researching and walking both 1066 Harold’s Way and Three Castles but now the doors are shut and its lease for sale.

It was once a freehouse and served as a ‘gentlemen’s club’ for the owner, who delighted in serving Goacher’s excellent beers and food to satisfy, but he retired around four years ago and Greene King became the owners, offering a tenancy and a beer tie for dreamers.

The rest is history but its reputation will continue with the hope that the Woodcock will fly once again to the delight of every walker who passes by.

Beer Notes will be published in 2019 as a ‘must have’ accompaniment for the discerning walker on ‘Walking 1066 Harold’s Way’ – the long-distance walk from Westminster Abbey to Battle Abbey and Hastings Castle inspired by King Harold’s epic march to the Battle of Hastings 1066.

www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

CAMRA WhatPub

Read The Woodcock Blog 2014

https://historywalksblog.wordpress.com/2014/11/01/the-woodcock-iden-green/

Walking the High Weald

History Walks Talks

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. 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.

3 Castles Mid Sussex Local History Group v2      3 Castles Bexhill Oddfellows v2

www.1066haroldsway.co.uk