The names associated with many prominent landscape features on the South Downs remind us of a rich and powerful folklore. There is Devil’s Dyke and the Devil’s Jumps. Supernatural beings or ‘pharisees’ as they were known locally, were said to congregate at remote locations, such as Harrow Hill and Pulborough Mount. A ‘Midsummer Tree,’ that still stands at (now urban) Broadwater, was reputed to be the scene of a fantastical dance of death on Midsummer’s Eve.
We will be recalling many old folk stories and tales, including that of ‘The Leper’s Path’ and the Great Yew grove of Kingley Vale (or Kingley Bottom as it was known until Victorian times).