DAVID ARNOLD - Fearsome fights at Terrible Down?

A few miles from East Hoathly, near the village of Halland on the A22 London to Eastbourne road, there is a place with the forbidding name of Terrible Down.

There are two stories explaining why it came to be so called. The first has it that Alfred the Great met an army of Viking marauders here in an encounter so fiercely-fought that the ground became soaked in blood and the streams ran red.

A second tale concerns the year 1264 and the aftermath of the Battle of Lewes. Having decisively defeated the forces of King Henry III on 14th May, the survivors were chased eastwards by the victorious Simon de Montfort’s rebel army. At Terrible Down, a large band of the King’s men halted and determined to see off their pursuers.

Instead they were overwhelmed and all but wiped out.

Now it may be that neither tale is true. I t could all be down to a corruption of the real name of the location. It is actually Tarble Down. A name that really doesn’t sound so terrible at all.