The Trundle is also known as St Roche's Hill and has an interesting history.
The hill rises gently from East Lavant in the south, and there's a long steady walk along Chalk Pit Lane to get to the point where this photo was taken. But there is a steep climb at the very top of the Trundle to the site of an ancient iron age hill fort.
The Trundle in historyThe embankments and ditches which mark the perimeter of the fort are very clear today and would have made an impressive defence. The earthworks enclose a large area which would have given iron age settlers a degree of safety, not least because of the superb views of everything taking place on the coastal plain, Chichester Harbour and the English Channel.
The Trundle used to be the site of a chapel until this was left to ruin. It is thought that the chapel was built some time in the 15th century and was probably trashed in the Reformation - it was already ruined 40 years or so after then.
In the Civil War the Trundle was the site of some of the meetings of the Clubmen - locals who were sick and tired of the demands of successive Royalist and Parliamentarian armies who swept through Sussex making the sort of demands on occupied towns that armies tend to do - even today. Armed and prepared to fight, the Clubmen nonetheless never took on any of the occupying forces as a result of the sobering defeat of their counterparts in Hampshire.
Trundle Hill todayThe north-east side of the Trundle is also popular as a good and relatively cheap vantage point for racegoers when there is horse racing at Goodwood. There are some excellent old photographs of the Trundle Enclosure being absolutely packed in the mid 20th century and there must have been a terrific atmosphere back then. Even today, it's a pleasant, but slightly distant point from which to view the races.
You can drive to the car park near the top of the Trundle, meaning that you can get right up to the very top of this part of the South Downs very easily. The Trundle is 206 metres high.
There is a particularly good downhill walk from the Trundle to the village of West Dean.
Goodwood hotels, B and B, camping and holiday lets
- Some recommended Hotels close to Goodwood and the Trundle
- Bed and Breakfast Goodwood - best places to stay for Goodwood Races
- Accommodation on the Sussex Coast
- West Sussex Holiday Cottages - holiday rentals for Goodwood Week
- West Sussex caravan parks
- Goodwood area campsites and other good places for a West Sussex camping holiday
- Bognor Regis
- Burgess Hill
- East Grinstead
- Haywards Heath
- Kingley Vale
- West Dean
- West Lavant
- West Stoke
- Monarch's Way
- More about the history of West Sussex