Ring (TQ 180 065) - A Brief History
The earliest known mention
of archaeological remains in the area is an Acheulian hand axe, perhaps
dating 200,000 - 100,000 BC found east of Lancing College Chapel.
The track alongside Lancing
Ring may be of Neolithic origin - circa 4,000 - 2,000 BC - a branch of
the ridgeway from Beachy Head to Cissbury/Chanctonbury
Ring and westward through Hampshire to Salisbury Plain.
Several Bronze Age (2100
- 500 BC) finds from Lancing area are in the British Museum.
to History of Shoreham (Neolithic)
IRON AGE SHRINE AND ROMAN
When a Romano
Celtic Temple was discovered in 1828 north of Lancing Ring the site
was found to comprise a small late Iron Age shrine (c.700 BC - AD 43).
Similar finds in Southern England have been inside late Iron Age forts.
From artefacts and coins
found on the Roman Celtic site the temple was probably in use during the
first half of the Roman occupation. It comprised a 40 foot square pavement
with a room 16 foot square in the centre, with walls of flint, plastered
and painted red. Around the site were several graves.
Celtic Temple site at Lancing
Coins at Lancing
The Romans left in the early
400's and Aelle, a Saxon chieftain, landed in AD. 477 with three sons Cymen,
Wlencing and Cissa. After slaying many Britons it is suggested Wlencing
established himself on the site of what is now North Lancing with another
group to the east of Hoe Court where a 6th century Saxon cemetery was excavated
in 1928. Saxon salt pans mentioned in the Domesday Book have been excavated
in the old marshlands of what is now New Monks Farm.
on the Shoreham History site (Link)
The Normans were responsible
for the original Parish church (St James The Less), built in 1120 in the
centre of the settlement.
The Lloyd family acquired
the Manor of Hoe Court in 1736 and then progressively acquired the manor
of Lancing until they owned about 80% of the parish. They finished the
building of the Lancing Manor House in 1800 ( it was demolished in 1972
to be replaced by a Sports Centre).
The origins of the Ring could
be that the Lloyd family having consolidated their holdings in Lancing
and having moved from Hoe Court to Lancing Manor, set about 'gentrifying'
their land in the late 18th century. They perhaps planted the original
beech trees along the track from Hoe court and on Lancing Ring - maybe
in imitation of what had been done at Chanctonbury.
The dewpond was perhaps constructed
at the same period, again possibly in imitation of the one at Chanctonbury
but also to provide a source of water to enable cattle to be grazed on
the Downs before piped water was available. There are a further two small
ponds in the area, one at Bartons farm and one northeast of MacIntyre's
Pond in Winter
The ponds were probably holed
in the 1930's so they would not hold water when piped water was readily
available and concern about the spread of T.B. in cattle was increasing.
to an image of the Dewpond in Summer
There had long been a windmill
at the eastern end of the chalkpit at the top of Mill Road. The first reference
to a mill at Lancing - but not necessarily at this site - was in the Domesday
Book. The most recent mill was a post mill with four sails and a tail post.
It was last used in 1898 and demolished in 1905 but traces of the brick
base can still be seen in the grass.
LANCING PUBLIC OPEN SPACE
Prior to World War II, the
downs from Lancing to Sompting were unfenced wide open spaces but during
the war the Agricultural Board ploughed every bit of land could get their
hands on for corn and the downland has remained under cultivation ever
since apart from the Public Open Space south of the Ring. (During the war
this area was used by the Canadian Army. In 1949 the Trustees of Lancing
College sold this area to then Worthing Rural District Council to be a
permanent Public Open Space for the people of Lancing.
LANCING BYPASS ROAD
In 1985 a fresh study of
the A27 trunk road at Worthing and Lancing was started with the recommendation
published in 1988 that the road should go up through Hoe Court, along Barton
Farm valley and then through a 33 metre deep cutting south of Lancing Ring
effectively destroying the area forever. As a result of much pressure from
the Friends of Lancing Ring and other groups the Department of Transport
accepted that the road should go through tunnels under the Ring rather
than through a cutting. [ Editors note: the scheme has since been dropped,
and there was no mention of it in the new road plans of 2003.]
THE FRIENDS OF LANCING
The Friends of Lancing Ring
group was formed in 1989 with the objectives of preserving the area by
helping Adur Council with more sympathetic management and increasing peoples
awareness of the Ring as an asset. Amongst the Friends first tasks were
replanting the Ring with 1,000 trees to replace, in time the beautiful
old beech trees blown down in the great storm of 1987. The friends also
restored the dewpond with the help of other local organisations and companies.
The area is now protected
by being within a Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and
also being designated as a Local Nature Reserve but - first and foremost
- it is used daily by local people as an amenity area of open countryside
on Lancing's back doorstep.
information was provided by the Friends of Lancing Ring
flowers include Buttercup,
Cow Parsley, Germander Speedwell,
and Common Vetch.
explored around lower parts of Beech Woodland and came upon drifts of Early
Purple Orchid, Orchis mascula.
Ring is a real Treasure trove!.
of Lancing Ring
Tel: 01903 753977
Task Days: third Sunday
in very month at the Mill Road car park. 10:00 am.
of Lancing (Ray Hamblett)
Notes for Lancing Ring