The South Downs Way
There are few signs of civilisation, ancient or modern, up here.
There are a couple of barns and the rather bleak looking Bostal Road which runs from Sompting Church, past Beggars Bush and over Steyning Round Down before dropping into Steyning. But you won't see much traffic on this road, if any - it was only metalled up here by the military in WWII.
One of the hillsides to the south of the South Downs Way here is called No Man's Land - far from unique in southern England, but entirely appropriate here.
Appearances can be decepitve however.
To the south lies the enormous Cissbury Ring hill fort, one of the biggest and most important such sites in England.
Two and three thousand years ago this must have been a relatively busy part of the countryside.
Park Brow lost villagesIn the 1920s the remains of a village were discovered at Park Brow, a valley which lies a kilometer south-west of New Hill Barn and the South Downs Ways.
Experts reckon that Park Brow was occupied from the Bronze Age until some time after the Romans left Sussex.
Several huts were excavated at Park Brow revealing a Bronze Age settlement. This was abandoned in favour of a newer village sometime around 300BC.
Habitation continued in the Park Brow area on a grander scale during Roman times, with the site of some pretty swanky Roman houses, complete with tiled roofs and some sort of glazing.
Twentieth century ploughing obliterated most surface features left behind by the lost village, although feint traces of lychet systems can (apparently) be made out at certain times of year in low angled sunlight.
Wiston House and Wiston ParkOne sign of a very advanced civilisation which you can glimpse from up here is the spectacular Elizabethan mansion at Wiston House, a mile to the north and now used as a government conference centre, surrounded by magnificent parkland.
You can see Wiston House on the right hand edge of the photo shown above, surrounded by a clump of trees. The farm you can see nearer to the steep drop over the Downs is Great Barn Farm, where there is a car park used by people who want to walk up through Wiston Bostal to enjoy the sights of Chanctonbury Ring.
Unfortunately Wiston House isn't open to the public.
Next on the route, the Steyning Bowl.
Places to visit close to the South Downs WayAmberley | Arundel | Ashington | Bepton | Bignor | Bramber | Bramber Castle | Burpham | Bury | Chanctonbury Ring | Charlton | Chilgrove | Clayton | Cocking | Compton | Cootham | Devil's Dyke | The Devil's Humps | Didling | Duncton | East Dean | East Harting | Edburton | Findon | Graffham | Harting Down | Heyshott | Houghton | Hurstpierpoint | North Marden | Parham House | Poynings | Pyecombe | Rackham | Singleton | Slindon | South Harting | South Stoke | Stedham | Steyning | Storrington | Torberry Hill | Treyford | Trotton | Truleigh Hill | Uppark | Up Marden | Upwaltham | Upper Beeding | Washington | West Dean
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- Butser Hill to Harting Down
- Harting to Cocking
- Cocking to Upwaltham
- Upwaltham to Amberley
- Amberley to Washington
- Washington to Upper Beeding
- Washington & the A24
- Chanctonbury Ring
- Above Wiston
- Steyning Bowl
- Annington Hill
- Upper Beeding to Devil's Dyke
- Devil's Dyke to Ditchling Beacon
- South Downs Way Tips
- Cycling in Sussex
- Bike repairs
- Bicycle hire
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