Chanctonbury Ring, Sussex travel guide and South Downs information

Photo of Chanctonbury Ring in South Downs (West Sussex region)

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Visit Chanctonbury Ring

Chanctonbury Ring is an ancient hill fort in West Sussex, in the South Downs National Park, near the village of Findon and in the Findon valley near Worthing.

Standing 242 metres above sea level, the first thing you notice when you walk to Chanctonbury Ring is the extensive views across the Sussex countryside, especially when looking towards the north. For most of us a visit is simply a pleasant walk in attractive scenery, but a little knowledge of the history and legend attached to the site makes a visit more interesting:

History of Chanctonbury Ring

The hill was at one time, perhaps 2500 years ago in the Iron Age, home to a small hill fort. Prior to that, 1000 years earlier in the Bronze Age, archaeological evidence suggests their was already activity at the site.

The fort could not offer sufficient defence against the Romans and the fort was abandoned. Some time later, during the Roman occupation of Britain, two roman temples were built here.

More recently, in 1760, the top of the hill was planted with a copse of beech trees by local landowner Charles Goring. Unfortunately many of these trees were destroyed by a terrible storm in 1987 and although the woods have now been replanted I am told that the current trees are much less impressive than those destroyed.

Chanctonbury Ring: myths and legends

The site also has several myths and legends attached which add to its visitor appeal - for example, if you run around the trees seven times in an anti-clockwise direction the devil will appear and offer you a bowl of soup in exchange for your soul. Doesn't sound like a great exchange to me but what do I know...

Several other strange events have been reported as taking place at Chanctonbury Ring, often related to UFO sightings.

See also:

Map of Chanctonbury Ring and places to visit

Chanctonbury Ring places to visit