A history of the Slindon Estate

An aerial shot of Slindon, after the Great Storm of 1987

Just a little research from books or the internet reveal that Slindon has a deep and rich history. A short visit will tickle your historical taste buds, but a day could transport you from the Bronze age, into the steps of Romans, around medieval hunting grounds, and glimpsing the drama of the World Wars.

Views along Stane Street at Slindon on the South Downs

Walk in Roman footsteps along Stane Street

From Bignor top you can travel down into the estate on the best remaining stretches of Stane Street, a Roman road built to link Chichester and the coast to London. Now it appears as a long linear raised causeway, known as the ‘agger’ flanked either side by ditches.

Flint and red brick cottages

Village curiosities

Around Slindon village there are a number of mystery structures and quirky features to look out for. On Dyers lane look out for the elaborate flint shed with a Slindon ‘ox blood’ red door. It is said that until 1950’s it was used as the village lock-up to hold offenders before they were brought before the local magistrates. The square walled flint enclosure at the top of Mill Lane in Slindon village was a livestock pound. It was used to hold cattle and sheep separated from the rest of their herd whilst being walked to market. The unlucky herdsman would have had to pay to have them released. On the corner of School Hill and Top Road is the old school. Scan the peaks of the building to find the ale mug imbedded in the flint work, put there by the buildings who enjoyed a lot of beer over the hot summer of construction.

Slindon Beech woods in spring

Bronze age burials and boundaries 

At the very top of the estate, around Bignor Hill, the lumps and bumps of Bronze aged round burial mounds reveal themselves. Easier to spot in winter when the vegetation dies down, but topped with vibrant wildflowers in the summer, they make a fitting resting place for past residents of this landscape.

Chalk cliffs and beach

Prehistoric Slindon on sea

About half a million years ago, Slindon was on the coast. The area now known as Slindon Park was perched on a cliff with waves lapping at the shore below. Geological evidence has identified this raised beach as being part of a large bay running from Arundel to Chichester. Sand and gravel deposits showing marine features such as sea washed pebbles can be found where is now woodland. Archaeological digs at nearby Boxgrove, on the same historical coastline, uncovered remains of an extinct human ancestor, bones of rhinoceros and bears as well as basic stone age tools.