Nore, the sculptural landscape – and a Journal published

1610The Speed map of Sussex in 1610 has no deer park indicated at Slindon. Such parks declined in number from the 15th century onwards.

But it has a prominent hill. It might have been the site of the House, but would that have been the most prominent landscape feature of the time?

Nore Hill is presently clothed with trees and the sculptural forms of the landscape slightly lost. If we look back through 150 years, the hill is brought to life through the bareness of the steep slopes contrasting with the extra tree height atop.

The eye-catcher visible from the nineteenth century onwards (left; see a good blog post here) meant that this became part of the wider historic designed landscape; attracting views from the house which were blocked when trees grew up through a general lessening of both traditional coppice management and the use of wood as the primary fuel source.

This is a post which didn’t go live through the period of the sculpture’s birth 2014-2016. As many have remarked, it is a pity (for what became partially a local history blog as much as a record of the sculpture) for it to remain in a medium that many do not access. A small number of physical copies of an edited text have been produced for posterity; the artist’s thoughts processes to accompany the physical stone.

You can pick one up at Slindon Forge, Arundel’s The Book Ferret and Petworth book shop, or view it in Arundel Library, Arundel Museum and Pulborough library collections.

Day 30: improvisation and why things veer to the human form

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A fabulous bright day with buzzards and kestrels observing progress from overhead through 6 hours. One visitor late in the day, a returner I’d met at Gumber in June. It was helpful to talk through some of the now-resolving forms rather than just talking to myself. I’m cutting hard into the remaining areas, trying to get as much contrast into the forms through degrees of shade.

More on this post in the published book.


The stone is now back in Northwood, where I next carve on 8th November.  This image is from David Illman, who passed when looking for fungi near Long Beat.


Slindon resident, pumpkin expert and historian Robin Upton accounted: ‘the proper name is probably “Long Beech” Wood. Longbeat developed from the Shooting season, but there are several spellings which have all developed through mispronuciation or mishearing’. P1030327Long Beet is also used, which could have agricultural crop connections. Whatever the present spelling, it marks a surviving eastern remnant of the North Wood forest.

Another blog article and some lovely images of the stone at Bignor Hill by long distance walker Keith Foskett is here.


No Man’s Land (Part 2) – The Dawtrys

A full text on this Dawtrys post is in the published book.

Evocative developments around a name occur as language and pronunciation change. We saw Dawtry’s Hooks – a small woodland – in a previous post about No Man’s Land here. This map of 1724 shows no Man’s Land in green. There are many places with this name where parishes meet.

Slindon Budgen 1723
This 1805 map below shows Dawtry’s Hooks at the top right of the former expanse of North Wood before ownership was fragmented and parts of the Forest lost to logging then agriculture (Six Ways is evident just above the ‘W’). Dawtrys occupies the top bit of the green to the right of the Rape boundary in the earlier map. 

Slindon1805 Northwood

And here is a modern LIDAR map, which shows what underlies Dawtrys woodland:NoMansLand

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So what were the Hooks? Something to do with Justice? Or a reference to the shape of the woodland when mapped? Make contact if you know more.

Back at Slindon on 18th October, 1/2  mile from the Northwood carpark!

Parks & Power: Slindon & Arundel (Part 4) – Slindon inheritance leads to Grand Designs from a shrewd exchange

We saw in part 3 the argument in the 13th century between the Earl of Arundel and two successive Archbishops at Slindon over hunting and trespass. Tens of generations passed and in 1797, an agreement came about which could be seen as another coup for Arundel, now under the Duke of Norfolk.

More in the published book.

Old Sussex Mapped here

Parks and Power: Slindon & Arundel – Part 2

The Saxons introduced ‘Hundreds’ for military and judicial purposes, geographical divisions of the Sheriff-controlled ‘Shire’. In Sussex, ‘Rapes’ may represent the ancient shires, or the late 9th Century system of fortifications introduced by King Alfred.

In 1086, the ‘honour’ bestowed by William the Conqueror to reward the services of Earl Roger de Montgomery resulted in the Arundel Rape holding most land in West Sussex. His broader English land holdings yielded about 3% of the entire national income; now GDP. One of the most important parts of the ‘Honour’ bestowed by the King was the Forest and Chase of Arundel.Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 20.32.18

More of the Slindon and Arundel in the published book.

Part 1 here