Poynings is a small village hiding at the base of the Devils Dyke just north of Brighton and it has a population of about 280.
Poynings has a 14th century cruciform Church and if you look at the front of the porch you will see that it is made of flints so beautifully shaped that they fit together like bricks. There are also some examples of magnificent 15th Century stained glass. It is known as one of the finest village medieval churches in Sussex. The tower is 58 feet high, and accessed by probably the oldest wooden ladder in Sussex! In the Apex of the porch gable you can just see a carved shield which isn’t mentioned in any guide books. The arms are those of the Poynings family. The brothers Thomas and Richard de Poynings built the church as it now stands in 1370. This coat of Arms can also be seen on the village sign opposite the church at Cora’s corner. Cora’s (formally of Downmere) memory lingers here with the corner named after her and a walk, along which has a series of seats presented by the Emile Littler Foundation. There is also a pub, playing field, cricket pitch (which is well maintained by trained sheep), school/village hall and lots of interesting people.
South and uphill of Poynings is the Devil’s Dyke, a steep coombe, surmounted by an Iron Age fort and provides superb views of the South Downs westwards across to Chanctonbury ring and northwards over the Weald. A railway used to run here from Brighton until the late 1930’s which was packed with hysterical day-trippers. A raised bank by the row of cottages below the hotel was the end of the line. If you look carefully, you can still find in the banks on either side of the Dyke, the footings of the structure which strung cable cars across the gulf around the turn of the century. A hundred yards to the east of the restaurant car park there is a slab of concrete for the funicular railway which shot down the steep slope to Poynings from 1897.
The Old School is now the village hall, and in the village centre nestles Glebe Cottage, constructed from flint, with a slate roof and tiny windows.
This is a community site so please visit it often and don’t forget to add your views. Especially the younger ones in the village (Must be over 1 month!).
Even the wildlife are a bit strange!
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- POYNINGS 13th 14th and 15th January: Pantomime