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Eartham villageEartham Woods are one of the best places to see bluebells in spring, although there are many people who believe Eartham Woods to be a sinister place which can play tricks with the minds of the unwary or soft headed. As with most things, though, there is an upside to this risk - the parking facilities are good.
The George at Eartham is an attractive village pub with a lovely garden - which is often well patronised by racegoers counting their winnings after a hard afternoon at nearby Goodwood or Fontwell Park races.
Eartham HouseThe largest building in Eartham is the imposing Eartham House, which has been used for many years as a prep school - Great Ballard. Eartham House has connections with one of the major politicians of the early nineteenth century - William Huskisson - MP for Chichester and prominent member of the governments of both Lord Liverpool and the Duke of Wellington.
Eartham had a fairly quiet history until Thomas Hayley, a rich Chichester gentleman, bought land in Eartham and built a villa there. In time Hayley's successors, including the well known poet and biographer William Hayley, expanded the villa into a larger mansion. Huskisson eventually bought Eartham House from the Hayley family.
Huskisson's house was replaced in 1905 by a striking new house designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, one of the great figures of British Architecture.
Despite his highly significant political career, Huskisson is best remembered for the absurd and tragic manner of his death, being run over by The Rocket at the opening of the Liverpool to Manchester railway line in 1830. This is a good illustration of the fact that people have always put trivia ahead of more serious matters and that "personality over politics" is not a recent curse brought on by our dumbed down society.
Eartham ChurchSt Margaret's Church contains a memorial to William Hayley's son which was carved by John Flaxman, the well known English sculptor (1755-1826). Flaxman and his wife often stayed with the Hayley family at Eartham during the summer in the 1780s. The church itself is Norman.
Stane Street at EarthamEartham is one of the best places from which to enjoy a walk along the great Roman road of Stane Street - which linked Roman Chichester and London.
The run of the road here is fairly uninterrupted from Eartham Woods all the way to Glatting Beacon, 245 metres above sea level and there's a great viewpoint along the arrow-straight road towards Chichester and the Solent and Isle of Wight beyond it.
You can see a section of the embankment of the Roman Raod in the picture below.
Map of the area
- Bognor Regis
- Burgess Hill
- East Grinstead
- Haywards Heath