Skull and Crossbones

Walking the High Weald

SMUGGLER’S GRAVE: Burwash lay on a known smugglers route from Pevensey Bay to Hawkhurst and Groombridge and Burwash was a haven for smugglers.

If caught for this capital crime, the penalty was hanging with further damnation on being refused burial in Church Consecrated Ground. The smugglers were mostly heroes with the local villagers and a compromise was reached with The Revenue that allowed them to be buried in the graveyard with their headstones carved with the skull and cross bones.

No names were allowed but the smugglers emblems are still plain to see.

Three Castles and an Ironmaster’s House

From History Walks, Talks and Books

More than just footsteps on a Path.

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

FOLLIES

Walking the High Weald:

‘Mad Jack’ Fuller wasn’t mad, just a little colourful but his eccentricities and his legacies are plain for all to see. Without Mad Jack, Sussex and this walk would be poorer for it was he that saved Bodiam Castle from demolition.  

Brightling really is Mad Jack Fuller’s village. he inherited the family mansion and estate in 1777, on his 20th birthday. An M.P. for East Sussex, his reputation for being outspoken and eccentric finally put him at loggerheads with the House and he stood down in 1812. His biography ‘Fuller of Sussex, A Georgian Squire’ by Geoff Hutchinson contains much more detail for those interested in Mad Jack’s life. 

Although a patron of the arts and a public benefactor (he provided the Belle Tout lighthouse at East Dean) he is best known for the many follies that he built around Brightling after leaving politics.

Fuller died a bachelor in 1834 and is commemorated by a tablet on the south wall of the Nave of St Thomas a Becket Church.

Regrettably, one of Mad Jack’s less favourable actions attributed to him, or so the story goes, was to move the pub, The Green Man, ½ a mile away from the village centre to stop the Vicar’s congregation from holding their own service at a rather different altar. It later became known as Jack Fullers but subsequently closed, much to the chagrin of walkers who now have to walk to Robertsbridge to quench their thirst.  

Three Castles and an Ironmaster’s House

From History Walks, Talks and Books

More than just footsteps on a Path.

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

Tranquil

TRANQUIL: The mill pond is still in the sunshine, black and languid except for a black duck, paddling ferociously to keep up on the off chance that there is some bread going – I’ll keep my sandwiches for later thank you.

Three Castles and an Ironmaster’s House

From History Walks, Talks and Books

More than just footsteps on a Path.

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

Walking the High Weald: 1066 Harold’s Way

Destiny:

Imagine 1066,

Crossing the Weald in the army of King Harold

On the way to decide the future of England

1066 Harold’s Way: Capital to Coast

From History Walks, Talks and Books

More than just footsteps on a Path.

For more information visit:

www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

Danger

Walking the High Weald

Danger:

Nothing less than a flying dragon is said to haunt the pond of Angley Wood but, on certain – or uncertain – nights of the year, it wings its flight over the park and pays a visit to the big lake yonder. But he always returns to the Mill Pond and it is said to pay special attention of a vicious kind to young men and women who have jilted their lovers.

A legend with a moral is this.

But a winged dragon! A dragon of the ordinary kind is bad enough. But a flying dragon! Augh!

‘A Saunter though Kent with Pen and Pencil’:

Sir Charles Igglesden, published in 1906.

Mr Sackett Tomlin, was a tobacco importer who bought Angley Park in 1869 and demolished the mansion to build a new one ‘of no special architectural merit’ (Igglesden). On his death in 1876, the property passed to his son, Edward Locke Tomlin, who lived there until 1929 when the estate was broken up and the dragon finally flew away – or did he?

Three Castles and an Ironmaster’s House

From History Walks, Talks and Books

More than just footsteps on a Path.

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

Walking the High Weald

Peace

A walk away from the hustle and bustle of the modern world with four great National Trust properties as its cornerstones, country pubs hidden away and legends galore to feed your imagination.

With no coarse gorse to scratch your legs or towering mountains to sap your strength, Three Castles and an Ironmaster’s House offers step by step instructions for both the beginner and the more experienced walker to enjoy walking the High Weald.  

From History Walks, Talks and Books

More than just footsteps on a Path.

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

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.