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What You Need To
Know About Chanctonbury Ring
Located in England, Chanctonbury
Ring is a small Iron Age hillfort that sits at a prominence on the northern edge
of the South Downs in West Sussex, 238 meters (783 feet) above sea level, part
of the actual South Downs Way, running along the hill.
Chanctonbury Ring was constructed in the 19th
century about the year 1870, as a commanding position looking across the weald
to the north. Through carbon dating on pottery found in the area it is possible
to determine that the fort was built in the early Iron Age around the 5th to 6th
Other vestiges include Bronze Age pottery and the remains of Roman roads and
buildings within the Ring, including a temple and human remains from
approximately 1000 years old. However, the current fame of the place does not
come from the fort or archaeological remains.
The main attraction is earthwork; the ring is a
crown of beech trees planted in 1760 on top by a young man. Charles Goring, a
man who lived to see his trees grow to maturity.
Charles Goring, who was known for his care in watering the trees regularly until
their roots took hold, but failing with the trees in the center of the circle
because of one reason; a replanting of some trees in 1977 found the old Roman
temple and other archaeological vestiges.
Chanctonbury Ring was restored by the Sussex
Society of Downsmen in 1970. Many of the original trees were blown down during
the hurricane of October 1987.
Those trees suffered at the hands of the elements in the early 21st century were
replanted early this century by a descendant of Charles Goring, John Goring, who
never was interested in the aesthetic beauty of the Ring. In the winter of 1949,
John Goring installed an iron water tank barbing wire around the Ring for his
cattle, an action that annoyed both locals and the Society of Sussex Downsmen
responsible for maintaining the place.
Folklore talks about the devil and the ring, the
most famous is that if someone walks 7 times around the circle on a dark or
moonless night without stopping, the devil will appear to offer you a bowl of
soup, porridge or milk. There are people who have lived the experience and have
even given the accurate time and date of Midsummer Eve at 7pm.
Dancing around the circle is also a Celtic tradition. There are also beliefs
saying it is not the devil but Fairies who live around and dance around the
circle on the above date, but also UFOs have been seen and documented in the
area since 1968.
Witchcraft is practiced at Chanctonbury Ring, which
is also a haunted place. This practice is not officially, but a sort of altar
denounced this activity since 1979, a common activity also at Stoneage and other
ancient British Ruins. Along with all this, Charles Goring's grave lies in the
12th century Wiston churchyard and overshadowed by a great yew, beneath the
heights of Chanctonbury Ring.
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