A Winter Wander in the Western Weald


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14 km / 9 miles

5 hours

Here's the usual infodump on buildings, settlements and landscapes:

Horsham: The well-to-do capital of the western Weald, but rather disjointed and overdeveloped. But there are still many lovely areas, especially south of the town centre where the Town Hall (1812) in Market Square gives way to The Causeway, a famed backwater that leads down to St Mary's Church, the River Arun and open countryside. The church (13th-14th Centuries) is big and towny, its shingled spire dominating the streetscape. The Causeway is an anthology of Wealden building materials: timber-framing, brick, sandstone, stucco, tiling and Horsham slate.

Denne Park: Originally built in 1605, but accurately rebuilt in 1870. Situated in a deer park and on a hill overlooking the town.

Sedgwick Park: Late Victorian mock-Tudor by Harold Peto, but quite picturesque. The formal Italianate gardens, laid out by George Peto, are noteworthy but only open in the summer. All that remains of 13th-Century Sedgwick Castle is a wooded mound and some rubble.

Chesworth Farm: What's left of a late-medieval house, built by the Dukes of Norfolk and home to Henry VIII's fifth wife Catherine Howard during her youth. It was here, aged 13 to 15, that she was repeatedly sexually assaulted by her music tutor Henry Mannox. The farm now preserves old farming methods, rare breeds and the wildlife that thrived on farms before modern times. See more information about Chesworth Farm here.

Nuthurst: Mostly a terrace of 17th century farmworkers' cottages, some brick, some half-timbered. The church of St Andrew is medieval but heavy-handedly restored.


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