There a saying regarding the Long Man of Wilmington relating to the weather which is attributed to many points along the South Downs:
‘When Firle or Long Man wears a cap,
We in the valley get a drap.’
The cap in this case is clouds over the clouds; the drap refers to a drop of rain.
Two crop circles have appeared near Wilmington in previous years. The first in 1990, the second in 1995.
Between the wars Wilmington would ring to the band music of the Territorials, who camped on the Downs, and other visitors were the gipsies (didicais to the locals, a name of respect meaning gipsies of the better sort, not like mumpers or pikers). They used to camp on the green while they helped the farmers through the summer’s heavy workload.
Several ghosts have also favoured this place. There was a peg-legged sailor who sat in a chair in the village street smoking a clay pipe,
and an eerie light which haunted one of the cottages and led the beholder into outbuildings before disappearing.
The Chantry, which has a stone face above the front door said to be a caricature of one of the village’s clergymen carved by sculptor with a sense of humour or an axe to grind, was once a school.
It was run by an elderly woman who had a tough approach to young offenders. They were tied to a beam with a cord and threatened with a visit from the blacksmith to pull out their teeth with his tongs.
Fun place, Wilmington.