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Parish Walk 1

Lodge Hill/Oldland Mill/Thatched Inn

A 3 mile circular walk to the west of the village, passing the village pond, Oldiand Mill and The Thatched Inn and returning to the village through open fields partly along the Roman Road.

Park at the Village Hall Car Park. Turn left out of the car park to the crossroads and cross over, keeping in the same westerly direction to pass the timber-framed building, now "Bespoke Stationery" on your left. Pass the White Horse Inn and Wing's Place, a tudor manor house said falsely to be one of those given to Anne of Cleves by Henry VIII. The parish church of St. Margaret is opposite. Continue past 'Cotterlings' with its glazed mathematical tiles, and cross the road passing the War Memorial on your left as you enter Lodge Hill Lane.

The Village Green on your right used until about 20 years ago to be a working farm, Court Farm, and the pond was the watering place for stock; some of the original flint walls of the farmyard remain as do the cart lodge and cow-stalls. The Green is now maintained by The Friends of Ditchling. As you pass the pond on your right you will see the green mound of Lodge Hill rising before you: the hill, said by some to be an ancient burial mound, has now been placed in trust for use by the villagers and every ten years it provides a fitting site for the village pageant.

Follow the lane as it curves left and then climbs with trees on either side that create a leafy tunnel in summer. At the top of the hill you may choose to continue along the lane or, alternatively, to take the footpath that runs through the field on your left parallel to the road.

From the stile on your left you will have fine views and can see three windmills - Jack and Jill on the Downs above Clayton to your left and Oldland Mill to your right. Turn immediately right after climbing the stile and walk with the hedge on your right around the edge of the sloping fields to the stile in the fence and continue to the next stile in the far corner just before Oldland Mill where you rejoin the other route.

For those staying on the lane, walk on past the stile for approx 300 yards where the lane becomes a rough bridleway and passes gateways to left and right; Court Garden Farm can be seen to the north just before the path runs between bushes to meet the footpath as you approach Oldland Mill.

Walk down the lane with Oldland Mill on your right. The mill is first mentioned in a Ditchling Churchwarden's report dated 1755 and is a post mill. It is now owned by the Sussex Archaeological Society and is in the process of being restored by volunteers from Hassocks Amenity Society and you may like to contribute to this work in the collecting box. Pass Oldland Manor House on your left and you can see Keymer Church across the fields towards the Downs. Keep on this lane for approx. mile until you reach Ockley Lane. Turn left and walk along the wide verge for approx. mile until you see The Thatched Inn on your right: you may like to refresh yourself before setting out across the fields to Ditchling!

Enter the field on your left via the kissing gate and follow the path which runs diagonally to the right across the field and go over the stile to head for the next stile and ditch beside the oak tree at the far side of the field. Cross this stile and ditch and follow the path keeping the fence to your left. The path here is thought to follow the line of the Roman road. You will see ahead of you the distinctive group of pine trees beside Ditchling Church. Follow the path along the edge of the field until you come to the stile beside a gateway taking you into Lodge Hill Lane.

Bear right and walk down the lane for approx. 100 yards to Boddingtons Lane ahead of you. Turn up this lane and go through the squeeze gate beside a pair of whitewashed cottages and past allotments on your right to the main road. Turn right down the High Street to the crossroads and then turn left along Lewes Road to the car park 100 yards on the right.

Parish Walks by Ditchling Westmeston and Streat Footpaths Society.

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