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

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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Three Castles and an Ironmaster’s House

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Walk 1 Robertsbridge to Benenden

Wednesday 29th April 2015

Distance: 11 miles

With Mark missing just one walk, this walk, to complete this 50 mile circular walk and receive his certificate, it was only fair that I should walk with him after all he had travelled down all the way from Derby. Similarly, Judy and Daphne missed last year so it was a small and select band that gathered at Robertsbridge with dogs Poppy and Shadow.

True to form, the weather forecast was poor with heavy rain scheduled from around 1pm and the occasional shower in between. Waterproofed against these forecast elements we set off along the lane beside The Seven Stars to cross the A21 to walk to Salehurst.

For the first time, the church was open and I managed to photograph the famed ‘Salamander’ font believed to have been donated by Richard I. The salamanders around the base are now almost worn smooth but the outline can still be seen. There is much history to discover about this large church. Outside, the sheep have yet to do their mowing but gates were still left closed behind us.

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Next was a new route to Bodiam Castle, negotiated with little difficulty and as thye sun came out it was getting a little warm.

There was a drinks stop at Bodiam Castle but be warned, the ticket office has now be moved astride the path and over-zealous staff give you the third degree, supposedly checking that you are members and need to show your cards or pay to visit the Castle. It is a public footpath and the National Trust have confirmed that they respect this Public Right of Way and it should not be a problem for walkers. I think that there needs to be some re-training for the ticket office staff on how to deal with walkers using the PRoW.

The former Appledore Estuary restored spirits and we made Sandhurst just after 1 pm, bang on schedule and ate our picnic by the War Memorial. Was that rain? Daphne suggested a coffee in The Swan and we all readily agreed but Mark was persuaded by the Harvey’s Best and I was too as the rain came down outside.

It is a good pub and there is always a warm welcome from Juliet Porter.

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What rain? We’d missed it all and continued the walk past the windmill, through orchards, vineyards and hopfields to Iden Green and Benenden.

Mark received his certificate at The Bull, Benenden with stickers given out for Walk 1.

Thank you Daphne, Judy and Mark, Poppy and Shadow, for a good walk.

Three Castles and an Ironmaster’s House

St Mary’s, Salehurst

Facebook – LIKE

The Bull Benenden

Pub Blog

The Swan Sandhurst

SUSSEX COUNTRYSIDE CHARTER

I value the countryside and the preservation of rural England should be a priority for us all.

For my voice to be heard, I have joined the CPRE Sussex Countryside Trust to ensure that the landscapes that are enjoyed on all my History Walks, continue to be enjoyed in the future.

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CPRE Sussex Countryside Trust’s  SIX COMMITMENTS TO THE COUNTRYSIDE are:

1 Progress for Sussex

We believe in a holistic vision for town and country, liberating brownfield sites for regeneration, promoting high quality design, excellent environmental standards and distinctive places.

2 Housing for everyone

We believe that in rural areas genuinely affordable housing developed by local providers, in

tune with the character of villages and towns, should be the priority over sprawling market housing developments in the countryside.

3 Active Citizenship

Local people must have a strong voice to ensure future-proofed decisions: innovatively designed development with excellent environmental standards, in the right place, to meet people’s needs.

4 New sense of stewardship

Funding schemes that support farmers to nurture biodiversity and protect the environment must be strengthened, enhanced and monitored to make sure they produce the results we all want.

5 Getting around lightly

Positive investment in sustainable transport is the responsible way to better connect Sussex, avoiding unnecessarily damaging airport and road expansion.

6 Energy for the future

For a positive future, energy developments must be well planned and policed to avoid irreversibly damaged industrialised landscapes.

The health and wellbeing of people, wildlife and natural eco-systems, and best agricultural land for future food security must surely come first.

CPRE Sussex Countryside Trust

www.cpresussex.org.uk

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Photographs:

  1. Three Castles and an Ironmaster’s House, looking south-east from Brightling
  2. Three Castles and an Ironmaster’s House, near Bateman’s
  3. 1066 Harold’s Way, Barnes’s Wood, near Cripps Corner
  4. 1066 Harold’s Way, near Sedlescombe