November 11th, 2020


The Cuckoo Trail is a disused railway line, now repurposed as a walkway and cycle path, which runs from Heathfield, through Horam, Hellingly and Hailsham, to end- breaking the sequence of aitches- in Polegate. A few weeks back we took a stroll down a section near Horam, yesterday we did the same at Hellingly.

The path was busy, busier than it had been on our previous excursion. Lockdown? What lockdown?

Hellingly is a pretty village- and growing. The path took us past a huge housing estate that is in the process of going up. It lies below the level of the path- on meadows which I'll bet are water meadows. There were some very big puddles down there. "You're going to have problems with flooding," I thought to myself.

The Area around Hellingly church is as English-idyllic as they come.

The house at the centre of the picture is called Prior's Grange- which suggests there was once a Priory in the neighbourhood. Note the paths: they were laid by unemployed labourers in 1824- and are still perfectly good. The churchyard is circular, which you'd be unlikely to guess unless you viewed it from a flying machine- and is raised six feet above the surrounding area. This is a configuration the Saxons used to favour- and there's even a name for it- which is "cric". The pamphlet I got this information from suggests they didn't like to think of their ancestors getting wet.

Like I said, it's not an area I'd want to be building houses in. There's a river runs through it- the Bull river- which feeds into the Cuckmere. And look- here's the water mill.