Hayley, Cowper and Smith – Eartham, Slindon and Bignor

There are a number of other important writers who lived bordering the Slindon Estate.TurnerSmith Charlotte Turner Smith (1749-1806) was a Sussex writer whose works have been credited with influencing Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. She revived the Sonnet form which was later used by Keats and Wordsworth. Bignor Park was her childhood home and remained a focal point for her poems. Professor Judith Hawley noted that not only did Smith grow up on the South Downs, but that she read up about them and wished to educate her readers about the natural and moral significance of the landscape. Writing in The Guardian (2004) Smith’s The Emigrants (1793) is noted as paralleling the fate of those driven out of France by the revolution with the sufferings of victims of the British state machinery. Book II opens on the Downs, which afforded to the South a view of the Sea; to the North of the Weald of Sussex  – a similar location to Belloc’s favourite, perhaps: Continue reading

On Sussex Hills – a chance survival

A full text of this post in the published book.

Hilaire Belloc’s novel The Four Men was conceived in 1902 and published in 1912. Several poems – songs – accompany their walk across Sussex.

The ‘first Drinking Song’ can be interpreted as Belloc intended 120 years ago, here from the South Downs Folk Singers archive:

The poem has also been set to the Irish rebel tune The West’s Awake by Martyn Wyndham-Read, and is here rendered – with accompaniment – by Youtube’s Holecene81.

Across Sussex with Belloc – In the Footsteps of The Four Men, Bob Copper (1994) Alan Sutton Publishing

Great Dynasties of the World – The Copper Family; The Guardian article here


Please make contact if you would like a pdf chord sheet.



Hilaire Belloc & Slindon: spirit of place

A full text of this post in the published book.

A blue plaque to the writer, poet and walker Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953; seen here flanked by George Bernard Shaw and G.K. Chesterton) lies at Gumber Farm, just to the north of our Rise of Northwood location.

Remember the stone and tree planting start on the weekend of 29/30th November.

Archive of Belloc and his publications from a Belloc Society blog here.


Timelord musings

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1739 Records of the Old Charlton Hunt (Earl of March, 2013)

Leading up to the start of a new carving (and with my youngest at home with Chickenpox) the artist can behave like a web Timelord, swooping in on 500 years of published evocative happenings and on historic analyses of the 1500 years before that.

More of this diary entry is the published Journal.