This historic Sussex building is well worth a visit!

This historic Sussex building is well worth a visit!

One of England's most important early Tudor houses – Cowdray in West Sussex was partially destroyed by fire in 1793. Its magnificent ruins in the stunning landscape of Cowdray Park, in the heart of the South Downs National Park. It was so important it was visited by both Queen Elizabeth I and King Henry VIII.

Open every Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays from Saturday 30th April until Sunday 4th September 2016. 11 am – 4 pm with last entries at 3 pm.

Admission for adults: £6.50.

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Cowdray is near Midhurst, within easy reach of Steyning!

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St Botolph’s Church near Steyning

St Botolph’s Church near Steyning

St Botolph’s Church has been referred to by a historian as one of the ‘lost downland churches”. It is in a peaceful spot next to the River Adur. Pay a visit and admire the clean lines and perfect setting of the small, attractive church!

The building dates to about 950 AD, and Saxon construction can be seen in the south wall and chancel arch. The slender tower, though it looks Saxon, is actually a 13th century addition, as is the chancel, which replaced a Saxon apse. You will be able to see an original round-headed Saxon window at the west end of the south wall. The church also has fragments of medieval wall painting …

The Saxons took advantage of the power vacuum in Sussex left behind by the Romans when they could no longer afford to maintain outlying parts of their empire in the fifth century. When the people of Sussex asked Rome for help in defending themselves from Saxon raiders, the Empire decided it couldn’t afford to strike back and left Britain to fight for its own future.

The name Sussex comes from an adaptation of the name South Saxons.

This lovely small church is just a couple of miles from Steyning & within easy reach of Brighton. I have walked there from nearby Bramber following the River Adur.

Annington Road, Botolphs, West Sussex, BN44 3WB


Historic Gardens Weekend

Historic Gardens Weekend

Historic Gardens Annual Event

The fascinating Weald and Downlands Museum at Singleton has an annual historic gardens weekend each year in late June.

Find out about their six period gardens and meet their gardening team.

Discover the herbs, vegetables and flowers that rural households would have grown and used. This will explain what people did from Tudor times right up to the Victorian era.

Find out how they use the plants grown in the Museum’s gardens for medicinal and culinary purposes, as well as natural dyeing and other uses. You can also learn how important gardens were to the ordinary working rural people of the past and how they would have been managed.

There will be displays, guided walks and talks, plus a chance to view their short film about the gardens. You can also chat to their gardening team and see the Museum’s Herbarium.

Find out more about the museum & their events at

Visit the St Cuthman’s and St Andrew’s Church

Visit the St Cuthman’s and St Andrew’s Church

Steyning is a fascinating place if you love history: The small rural town pre-dates the Norman Conquest.

St Cuthman, a Celtic saint from c8 or c9, is said to have arrived here pulling his sick mother in a cart. When the tow rope broke he assumed it was a sign from God that Steyning was where he should stay. He built built a wooden church – and administered to the needs of his adopted flock. After his death, the church became a place of pilgrimage. The sea was much closer by in those days and so a port of St Cuthman was built on the River Adur nearby. The church at Steyning was part of a monastery …

The church was rebuilt in later years on the same site. Inside the building, is a truly glorious Norman nave, complete with the most beautifully harmonious decorations and carvings.

Medieval Buildings in Steyning’s Church Street

As you walk along the street you’ll see late-medieval timber-framed domestic buildings. Many have been cased in various materials – brick, flint, weatherboarding, and hung tiles, and the antiquity of some is completely disguised externally.

The original settlement at Steyning was probably in fairly early Saxon times. It already existed when, according to the legend, St. Cuthman founded a church there, perhaps in the late 8th or early 9th century at the far end of Church Street.

Steyning is in West Sussex within easy reach of Brighton. Church Street is just a 5 minute walk from Rosebud Cottage.


Open Air Museum in Sussex – a 'Must' for History Fans!

Open Air Museum in Sussex – a 'Must' for History Fans!

Another picture of the excellent Weald and Downland Museum..

Discover traditional buildings that tell the story of the people who lived and worked in them over a 600-year period! Explore the 40-acre site and visit some of their 50 exhibit buildings.

Many of their houses are furnished to recreate historic domestic interiors. Enjoy demonstrations: E.g Cooking in their Tudor kitchen; milling flour in their working watermill; blacksmithing in their Victorian smithy.

The Museum is in West Sussex near Chichester. Details at

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Steyning is at the foot of the South Downs within easy reach of the museum

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Battle Abbey is well worth a visit!

Battle Abbey is well worth a visit!

Run by English Heritage, the Abbey takes its name from the town of Battle in East Sussex and was founded to commemorate the bloody battle that saw William the Conqueror assume control of England in 1066.

The high altar of the abbey church was reputedly on the spot where Harold died and is now marked by a special commemorative stone.

The Abbey was founded as a result of a vow made by William in an Abbey at St Valerie Sur Somme, before the sea crossing, in which he promised to establish a monastery free of episcopal control if God granted him victory.

When William died, he left many gifts to the Abbey which included his royal cloak and a portable altar used on his campaigns. William had endowed the Abbey to such an extent that it became the 15th wealthiest religious house in the country. However the twin terrors of repeated French raids and the Black Death had a lasting impact on the abbey and drastically affected its population and income.

Subsequent centuries saw the Abbey grow in status and wealth thanks to the Abbots' careful management of its resources.

The Abbey now has a new visitor centre with some incredible interactive displays. There's also a café with wonderful views of the battlefield and a host of innovative new features throughout the attraction.

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To discover more places to see in Brighton and Sussex visit Steyning Cottage's collection at

#abbey #history #sussex #steyning #uk #vacationrentals

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Battle Abbey, East Sussex, England, UK

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