Ten mile walk – 4th Feb 2014

It was predicted to be a fine day so Steve and I agreed to meet at 10am and walk out of town, into Woodingdean and up to view a small archaeological dig just out of town, before extending the walk somewhere for lunch and a jar or two.  On the way up to Steve’s I saw a discouraging thing – one of our few 19th century brick and Purbeck limestone pavement cross-overs has been buggered about with:

Black tarmac replaces limestone and brick - perhaps only temporarily?

Black tarmac replaces limestone and brick – perhaps only temporarily?

Bright blue skies and sunny too, but windy and cold.  The dig has been going on for several weeks, it was a very small farm cottage and barn, all within a flint and brick wall.  A sort of out-reach farmhouse for a big farm, where a worker might live to be near stock needing attention.  It was handed over to the army, along with hundreds of acres, during the war for them to practise for the invasion.  As a result it was totally destroyed.  Next week it will be covered over again, so this was the last chance to have a personal look at it.

Footings of a two room cottage on Newmarket Hill, outside Brighton.

Footings of a two room cottage on Newmarket Hill, outside Brighton.

Small yard beside cottage, notice outside toilet in top right corner, and mobile phone mast on horizon.

Small yard beside cottage, notice flagged floor of outside toilet in top right corner, and mobile phone mast on horizon.

Then down into the valleys to enjoy the silence and freedom from the winds, but slogging through thick muddy tracks churned up by a bunch of Exmoor ponies.  We decided to aim for the cliff top where a pub five miles away tempted us up onto a chalk ridge and into the wind again.  Saw three buzzards squealing and circling overhead, and eventually spotted a skylark we had been hearing for some time.  Passed a broken stone cross marking the spot where one John Harvey dropped dead in June 1819.  He came from Bedfordshire, north of London, but must have been related to the Sussex brewing family as they restored the monument in 1999.

I you are going to drop dead during a summer walk this might be the place to do it, but a bit bleak today.

If you are going to drop dead during a summer walk this might be the place to do it, but a bit bleak today.

Got to the Smugglers’ Rest at 2.30pm.  Their sandwiches proved to be a meal, and served with chips!  Harvey’s and Doom Bar available.  Bussed into Brighton and walked through the town on the way home.  Spotted brand new illuminated sign at the entrance of the yet to open new Open Market.  Great shame there seems to be no doors at the entrances of this new covered market.  I’m sure there were doors on the original drawings.

New sign outside the Open Market, the lights change colour steadily.

New sign outside the Open Market, the lights change colour steadily.

 

 

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