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Tony Grist

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Chanctonbury Ring [Aug. 11th, 2016|06:58 pm]
Tony Grist
Chanctonbury Ring is a hill fort on the South Downs near Steyning. In 1760 landowner Charles Goring planted beeches in a tight clump- and turned it into a local landmark. The hurricane of 1987 smashed the clump and left the ring looking ragged. The trees have since been been replanted and are approaching maturity.

Odd things happen: There are stories of hauntings and UFO sightings, witches and other occultists have used it as a ritual site, Doreen Valiente was here. According to legend if you run round the ring seven times widdershins the devil will appear and offer you a bowl of soup in exchange for your soul.

I climbed up and came down the hard way-  straight up the side of the hill, through the woods- and have the scratches to prove it. It's a very steep climb- and I did sections of the descent on my arse.



The Eastern gateway. Ditch and wall are well preserved. The beech trees have rather hampered archaeology but I understand there's the footings of a Roman temple in there somewhere.


The western approach to the Ring.  Give it a few more years and it'll be as though the hurricane never happened. The irregularity to the left of the path is a barrow.


Looking north
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: sovay
2016-08-11 06:19 pm (UTC)
According to legend if you run round the ring seven times widdershins the devil will appear and offer you a bowl of soup in exchange for your soul.

It had better be a really good bowl of soup.

The Eastern gateway. Ditch and wall are well preserved. The beech trees have rather hampered archaeology but I understand there's the footings of a Roman temple in there somewhere.

Your phrasing and the photograph reminded me at once of Kipling: "O that was a Legion's camping-place, / When Caesar sailed from Gaul."

Thank you for this view of the land.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-08-11 06:48 pm (UTC)
I can't believe the devil got many takers.

Kipling is all over Sussex. You keep tripping over him...
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[User Picture]From: athenais
2016-08-11 09:29 pm (UTC)
What a beautiful view. I hope there are no barrow wights left.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-08-12 08:44 am (UTC)
Who knows? People who have camped overnight at the Ring have had disturbing experiences. One group heard a woman wailing.
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[User Picture]From: topum
2016-08-11 10:24 pm (UTC)
I just keep looking north. Stunning.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-08-12 08:45 am (UTC)
That's the Sussex Weald you're looking at.
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[User Picture]From: haikujaguar
2016-08-11 11:46 pm (UTC)
Lord, that's lovely.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-08-12 08:46 am (UTC)
My very favourite part of the country.
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[User Picture]From: heliopausa
2016-08-12 03:57 am (UTC)
I know this from Eleanor Farjeon's Martin Pippin books!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-08-12 08:48 am (UTC)
Ah yes. Sussex is such a very literary place. I suspect more writers have lived and worked here than in any other English county.
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[User Picture]From: puddleshark
2016-08-12 09:43 am (UTC)
Beautiful. But yes, even in the pictures you can see the strangeness of the place...
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-08-12 10:04 am (UTC)
The one time I've been really, really frightened was up on the Downs very early in the morning- by myself, in the mist.
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