Botolphs villageIt may seem hard to believe, but the miniature village of Botolphs used to be a place of real importance.
The reason was its bridge - now rendered irrelevant by the existence of better places to cross the River Adur and changes in the direction of the river's path - but for much of the early middle ages Botolphs was a busy transportation point.
Botolphs is in a lovely position in the Adur Valley just downriver of Steyning and Bramber. The hills above the village, especially Annington Hill give breathtaking views across the Adur Valley towards Truleigh Hill and the north side of the Downs, as well as a broad sweep over the coastal towns of Shoreham and Brighton and the English Channel.
True, there's also the slightly grating sight of Upper Beeding cement works to take in, but in a largely unindustrialised county such as West Sussex the view of the cement works and the great hole it has carved out of the hillside is something of a novelty - as well as a reminder to do everything we can to keep the South Downs as free as possible from industrial uses.
You'll pass through Botolphs if you're lucky enough to be travelling the South Downs Way or the Downs Link Footpath. It's a lovely place.
Botolphs Church - St BotolphsSt Botolph's Church is strikingly large for the small size of the current village.
The oldest parts of the church are over a thousand years old - making the current building at Botolphs a little earlier than most of the many Saxon churches still standing in West Sussex.
There are fragments of wall paintings in St Botolphs, but these are not as impressive as the much more celebrated medieval paintings in Coombes church, a mile or so further down the Adur valley towards Shoreham.
They're still a remarkable treasure though and shouldn't be dismissed lightly.
- Chanctonbury Ring
- Bramber village
- Bramber Castle
- Truleigh Hill
- Lancing College Chapel
- Upper Beeding