Chiltington Lane

welcome to Chiltington Lane

by C L Scribbler

What can you say about a short stretch (about a mile) of quiet English country lane in East Sussex which leads nowhere, nothing ever happens, and not many people live?

And when I say "nothing ever happens" here... it simply confirms that you can't believe everything you read on the internet. Because some things do happen.

In 2016 we had - the wrong thing in the wrong place (the idea of a caviar farm) in Chiltington Lane. If you're looking for the caviar farm on your GPS and can't find it this isn't because of the UK losing conjugal access rights to the EU's satnavs after Brexit - no - it's because it didn't happen and there was a happy ending. You can read more about that here.

And in 2017 we had an issue which was more like the right thing in the right place. The idea of protecting something which had been here for 200 years. I'm happy to say it still is - see more about it in saved! - the Forge in East Chiltington.

In 2019 - I will be writing more. Promise.*

* - Caution:- the world wide web quality assurance agency reminds you that you can't believe everything you read on the internet. Content quality can go up or down. Other web sites are available.

the still yet to-do list of articles

Man in a hat (Cyrano)

Catching the iron horse

a sticky trek to Blackcap

We're Singing in the Lane

B&B's in and about the lane

Our little Roman winterbourne

Clippety clop - the hum of traffic

Where inexactly is Chiltington Lane?

Lanes which feed into Chiltington Lane

the Bridges of Chiltington Lane (unfinished)

Snatches of cyclists' conversations breezing by

Other web sites which talk about Chiltington Lane

Oh what fun we had when they resurfaced the road

Pubs you can walk to easily and not so easily from here

Where does the dotted Roman Road cross Chiltington Lane?

What to tell visitors and delivery drivers when it might be raining

Rght thing right place - saved! - the Forge in East Chiltington

Chiltington Lane - coming from Highrbidge - yes this really is the home page
refurbishing the railway which straddles Chiltington Lane

Editor:- February 20, 2019 - At times this week it seemed that the number of people working in the lane and wearing yellow jackets adorned with Network Rail logos outnumbered the residents. The 9 day (predicted) work is part of a major renovation project which is of historic proportions.

As described in this advisory bulletin ... "Major improvement work is taking place between Three Bridges and Brighton, closing all lines. No trains will call at the following stations:- Balcombe, Haywards Heath, Wivelsfield, Burgess Hill, Hassocks, Preston Park, Plumpton and Cooksbridge."

The rail work alongside Chiltington Lane seemed to peak yesterday as today there were only 5 vans parked here and a handful of people out on the tracks. The view below is from Bridge 669 looking towards Plumpton. If you click on it you'll see a higher resolution image.
railworks 2019 Feb 20 Chiltington Lane from bridge 669
I walked along to the other intersection of the railway with Chiltington Lane - which is by Bowling Green - but this morning I couldn't see anything railway-workwise going on there. So maybe that stretch has been finished too.

On the way there I did see something interesting though - a duck swimming in the ditch along the lane between 63 Hurst Barns and Lower Burrells.
duck in ditch - click to zoom - chiltington lane
Re - 63 Hurst Barns - and the fact that there aren't so many houses around here... there is a story behind the numbers of the only 2 properties in the lane which are attached to digits of the style "6X" rather than names.

I used to live next door to these 2 houses and the numbers provided a variation of mystery in the tapestry of where places are for delivery vans. I've forgotten the details of the numbers story. It's not because there used to be more houses here in the times before the Black Death - which was my first guess. And it's not because more houses had been planned to be built and the developers didn't get around to building the missing 62.

Going back to refurbishing the railway - the images below are from the wider regional area of the works as captured and published by Network Rail.
Network Rail images of 3 Bridges to Brighton project Feb 2019

whiteout in Chiltington Lane?

Editor:- February 10, 2019 - It snowed here at the start of the month and I had intended to rush out and snap some pictures.

Unfortunately by the time the light was good enough to do so the pristine snow in the lane had been muddied up by tyre tracks.

Ah well... I'll just have to wait for another opportunity.

In the winter of 2009/2010 the lanes around here were a sheet of ice for over a month and it was treacherous for anyone without a 4x4 to get along.

In those days I had a small Clio which slid backwards down the slope of Wickham Lane when I tried to exit that way - which from memory seemed like a gentler slope than going via Beechwood Lane.

Luckily being a 2 door model powered by elastic bands my Clio was light enough for a single person to push back onto the road when it slid sideways onto the frozen grass verge.

After 3 attempts I took the hint, turned back for home and not long after the ice had melted exchanged it for a Freelander with a snow button.

I was most impressed by the electric cart which used to collect the recycling in the lane. That battery operated wagonload of bottles, cans and cardboard bins - seemed to have no difficulty whatsoever getting up the icy slope in Chiltington Lane even when many of our neighbours' conventional cars had failed.

first duck viewings in 2019?

Editor:- January 21, 2019 - I was indoors when I spotted 2 ducks walking up the slope in Chiltington Lane on Saturday afternoon.When I saw them they were between Burrells and Kemps House. They paused from time to time to dip into some of the muddy ruts by the side of the road - but they had disappeared out of sight before I thought of going out to warn them about the danger of meandering from side to side of the road while being so low to the ground and not wearing high vis jackets / gilets jaunes. You can get a murky idea of what I saw through my window below.
ducks Chiltington Lane Jan 2019

and a zoom view here
ducks zoomed in

Memo to self - maybe the recently installed new glass in the conservatory isn't as clean as I thought.

Going back to these 2 ducks - I wondered if they were visiting the lane and looking for a suitable family home.

Then on Sunday morning as I was replenishing some bird feeders which sustain many woodpeckers and dozens of little birds (the Robins are the bravest and usually pounce before I've even stepped away) I was surprised by a sudden fountain of 3 ducks which sprayed up in flight from behind a curved flint wall which sculpts around a low lying pond in the listed property next door.

I hadn't noticed this trio of ducks before but they had noticed me. They catapulted over the lane - a bit like startled pheasants but aiming as if they knew where they were going - towards the South Downs - where there is indeed a bigger pond a few hundred yards away. These ducks were intentionally scrambling like WW2 Spitfires - unlike pheasants who like a wonky V1 rocket (to continue with the WW2 analogy) aim at the tallest random trees. Webbed feet may somewhat limit your roosting options but they don't stop you having more sense than a pheasant in an English countryside context.

I hope the ducks be back soon. I got used to seeing ducks sun bathing on that wall last summer from my kitchen window - which is at the other end of the house.

I have been meaning to write a note about ducks and Chiltington Lane.

Unlike the crowds of institutionalized ducks which you see in public parks and stately ponds - the open range ducks which grace our lane tend to settle in smaller numbers in hidden quiet spots and don't seek humans bearing breadcrumbs or paparazzi.

Later - fishing for duckweed

A couple of days after seeing the ducks I noticed a team of people immersing themselves in the freezing cold water of the pond next door (it was the end of January) doing what appeared to be an eccentric form of gardening.

On speaking to one of them I learned they had come by prior arrangement to clean out the duckweed and to ensure that the inflow and outflow of rainwater were clear.

You may think that in England cats and dogs are pampered but it appears that no effort is spared in some places to ensure the wellbeing of ducks too.

I said I assumed that the removed duckweed would make a good mix for compost - but was told that - better than that - the intrepid pond cleaning team knew of another larger pond whose carp would most likely be the beneficiaries of this freshly picked duckweed takeway.

Later - Feb 20, 2019 - the dawn chorus this morning (perhaps a little earlier than usual due to a full moon beaming brightly at the opposite end of the sky compared to the rising sun) was dominated at Burrells by ducks quacking,

Sure enough when I looked out of the window at the pond next door I could see two ducks swimming around and testing out the features.

Will they stay and hatch ducklings?

Last year there were two overlapping families in this pond.

Stable Cottage Nov 2018
Cottage to Let

Editor:- December 2, 2018 - I recently noticed a sign in Chiltington Lane - at the entrance to the farm track up on the right as you go between Lower Burrells and Bowling Green. The sign said something about a property to let. Wow! - what's this about? I looked it up when I got home.

The links are here (Stanley and Partners - letting agents) and here (Rightmove).

It's a 3 bedroom cottage (Stable Cottage East) which is being offered at £1,100 p.c.m.

The photos must have been taken recently - because the outlook depicted is grey and dreary. But as anyone who has walked around here knows - this location has fantastic views of the countryside looking down over Chiltington Lane and across to the South Downs. (Although you will get a fair share of occasional mud and agricultural ambience too.)

We look forward to having new neighbours in the lane soon.

. on railway side of the lane  looking west picture by Laura Huggett

Stepping off the lane near Southover Cottage and looking westward towards the South Downs. Photo by Laura Huggett (September 2016). Laura was born in nearby Clayton and has been walking through Chiltington Lane to visit relatives in the lane for 10 years.

Where inexactly is Chiltington Lane?
A rustic blog of lost and found navigation.

Even before you saw this web site you may already have been thinking - what a charming and delightful place Chiltington Lane is. How can I spend more time looking around the area if I don't live nearby or know someone who does? Well - you don't have to compromise by staying as far away as Lewes... b and b
B&B's in and about Chiltington Lane

In Chiltington East in '16
the strangest idea we had seen
caused much alarm
a planned caviar farm
wordwashed in soothsayer green

(There was a happy ending.)
for sale sign at the gate of contentious caviar farm site in East Chiltington
Wrong thing, wrong place

Man in a hat (Cyrano)

"He said the hat makes him easy to find ..."
Man in a hat (Cyrano)