In looking for an archive ride to fill the hole in our schedule, I came across this one, which, incredibly, dates from 7 years ago (click here for the report from that ride). It features an optional visit to Laughton Place, formerly the chief manor of that well-known Sussex family, the Pelhams, originally built in 1400 and remodelled “on a grand scale” by Sir William Pelham. All that has survived is the tower, which stood close to the main hall, “an outlook post and set of secure private rooms combined. By 1600 the family had abandoned Laughton, driven by the damp, to build again on higher ground, and slowly the house decayed.” (Text from the Landmark Trust, who now own it.)
We may also have a look at All Saints’ Church (13th C), where there are plenty of dead Pelhams, including a couple of Prime Ministers, and some nice stained glass. (Last time, we got invited in for coffee!)
It’s a bit of a “there and back” ride, although a slight variation is possible in the matrix of lanes around Ripe. There is also an optional 1-mile section via Vert Wood on a track if it is not too wet.
Length: 19-20 miles; no hills.
Terrain: Tarmac lanes, with a 1 mile offroad section in Vert Wood if we take it.
Lunch: The Roebuck at Laughton at 1pm.
How to Get There: 10.12 train from Brighton to Berwick or meet at Berwick Station at 10.34.
Return Train at 44 mins past the hour, 24 minutes journey time to Brighton.
REMEMBER TO PUT YOUR CLOCK BACK! (or we’ll collect you from the Berwick Inn!)