Final trails leaflets pave way to walking through history

Highdown Gardens in the Spring. Photo courtesy of Jo Hooper

Highdown Gardens in the Spring. Photo courtesy of Jo Hooper

  • Worthing Heritage Trails project published final trail leaflets
  • Cissbury and Highdown trails join ten other trails covering local areas
  • Walk leaflets are available free of charge from Worthing Library, Worthing Museum, and other outlets in the town
0
Have your say

The highly successful Worthing Heritage Trails project has just published its final trail leaflets – on Cissbury and Highdown.

These leaflets, numbers 11 and 12 in the series, are available from Worthing Library, Worthing Museum, and other outlets in the town.

The previous trail leaflets, which include four town centre walks, have proved so popular that they have already been reprinted and a third reprint is planned.

Project manager Chris Hare said: “These trails are ideal for people with an interest in the town’s history, but whose busy lives mean they don’t necessarily have time to read books or do their own research.

“Taken together, the 12 trails offer a window onto the history of our town and the historic buildings and monuments that survive from past centuries.”

As well as the 12 trail leaflets, there is also a website – www.worthingheritagetrails.org.uk – which includes a number of video links that give further information on local history, including interviews with residents who have specialist knowledge about our local heritage.

Archaeologists excavating Roman remains at Highdown in 1937 (photo from Worthing Herald of the time)

Archaeologists excavating Roman remains at Highdown in 1937 (photo from Worthing Herald of the time)

The website has recently been updated and now includes new information about Cissbury Ring, one of this country’s most important archaeological sites.

A team of project volunteers have devised a special town centre heritage route that combines aspects of all the town centre trails.

These volunteer guides will be leading free guided walks throughout the summer months on Sunday afternoons and Wednesday evenings, from late May until early September.

Full details can be found on the website.

The 12 trails offer a window onto the history of our town and the historic buildings and monuments that survive from past centuries

Chris Hare

All walks will start and finish at The Denton at Worthing Pier.

All the dates and times will be available on the website and will also appear on flyers that will be available later in the month from the library, museum, and tourist outlets.

To mark the end of the project, a special celebratory event is being held at Highdown Gardens on Wednesday, April 15.

Jo Hooper, the head gardener at Highdown Gardens, will be giving a short talk about the gardens, and Chris Hare will be leading a guided walk that will include the Miller’s Tomb and the prehistoric enclosure on Highdown Hill.

The Miller's Tomb and summerhouse, Highdown, early 19th century

The Miller's Tomb and summerhouse, Highdown, early 19th century

The event is free and those wishing to join the walk should meet at Highdown Tea Rooms at 11am.

“Highdown is replete with history, folklore, and outstanding gardens, “ explains Chris.

“For hundreds of years Highdown Hill was a place of great significance for generations of local people, from the Bronze Age until our own times.

“It offers unparalleled views across the Sussex coastal plain, from Beachy Head in the east, to the Isle of Wight in the west.

“We can imagine that the prehistoric peoples would have felt a strong attraction to such a place and a feeling of dominance over their surroundings.

“As recently as the early 19th century, traditions and customs associated with Midsummer where acted out at Highdown.

“Add to this the smuggling legends surrounding the Highdown Miller John Olliver and, it is easy to see why Highdown has been such a popular destination for visitors and residents alike.

“Then there are the outstanding chalk gardens at Highdown, created by Sir Frederick and Lady Sybil Stern in the early years of the last century.

“Sussex has many beautiful formal gardens, but Highdown is arguably the most intimate and lovely of them all.”

The Worthing Heritage Trails project is run by the Worthing Heritage Alliance, an umbrella organisations that includes many of the town’s amenity and historical societies.

The Alliance has its own website – {http://www.worthingheritagealliance.org.uk/ www.worthingheritagealliance.org.uk|click here}.

Organisations can join for an annual fee of £10, while individuals can affiliate free of charge.

As well as the four town centre and two downland trails, areas covered in the series include Broadwater, Broadwater Cemetery, Tarring, Goring, Salvington and Durrington.

The walk leaflets are available free of charge.

The Worthing Heritage Trails project was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).