A walk around Slindon brings many brushes with history, some more apparent than others. The imposing Elizabethan manor house at the top of the village – which is now a boys’ college – is an obvious starting point. Or the Nore Folly, built on the opposite hillside by one of its resident countesses. But long before these, prehistoric people wrought their tools here, remains of which can still be found today.
Later, Roman chariots trundled along Stane Street – which crosses the downs just to the North. The sea was nearer, too, in earlier times. Hence a long association with smugglers. Rumours of a tunnel all the way down to Yapton persist to this day.
The beech trees of Slindon provided thousands of wooden wedges for the building of ships and floats for fishermen’s nets.
Both Catholic and Anglican churches stand close by the college in ecumenical harmony. The parish church of St Mary’s houses the only wooden effigy in a Sussex church, thought to be that of Sir Anthony St Leger (d. 1539) in full armour.
Not far away, a more recent peculiarity is a thatched railway carriage – third class, smoking, complete with guard’s van – built around 1874 and removed to its current resting ground in 1906. Just around the corner stands the early 19th century village lock-up, where miscreants could be left to ponder their fate before being marched off to Arundel by the constabulary.