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Piddingworth and Tanners Ponds

These two dewponds lie either side of the Ditchling Road 1 miles south of the Beacon which lies at the top of the northern scarp of the South Downs. They are approximately 200 or 300 yards apart, on the top of the ridge, which the road, south to Brighton, follows. This Bostal road which climbs up the scarp from the Weald to the north was only metaled early in the 20th century

It would appear that they lay on different farms, although the road was but a track and there was no fencing until this century (see below), otherwise why have two ponds so close together ?

There was the Stanmer Estate boundary wall, shown on a 1930's survey, along the east of the road to Ditchling Beacon.
This wall would have been built after the park was laid out mid 17th C. possibly by Napeolionic prisoners c.1812.
This would suggest that at least one of these two ponds was built later than the wall.

Tanners - the West Pond over 600 feet up, at TQ 322 108 - Dry, August 2001 - appears to have had some moisture until recently, 
evidence - the muddy prints of sheep,a number of which are just visible in the background. 
The fence along the west side of the road runs top right to the middle distance, 
the other pond is situated near the end of line of trees.

East -Piddingworth Pond, nearly 600 feet up at  TQ 323 111 - In water August 2001, 
there were cattle in this field - out of shot.
The Ruins of Piddingworth Farm beyond and some 100 feet down from the trees on the right.
The modern barbed wire fence on the east side of the road is visible at the bottom of the picture.

Please note these ponds are on PRIVATE land with no public access.
They may be viewed from the road.

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Copyright 2002-6  Martin Snow and contributors as noted. All rights reserved.
Last modified: February 25, 2006