St Ann's Hill: Midhurst Town Council buys ancient castle and settlement

Town councillors voted this week to take over the ancient St Ann’s Hill site from Chichester District Council.

Midhurst Town Council has formally signed the transfer of St Ann’s Hill from Chichester District Council (CDC) to the council, taking ownership of the eight acre site, which includes Midhurst castle.

The Norman motte and bailey castle is believed to have been built in about 1066 and is a scheduled ancient monument.

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Commenting on the acquisition, after signing the land deeds for the transfer, Carol Lintott, chairman of the town council, said “I’m very pleased that CDC has passed ownership of St Ann’s Hill to the Town Council.

Remains of the bailey and chapel can still be seen today. Picture courtesy of Chichester District Council.

"We are much better placed to ensure that the site is not only well maintained but to implement plans to open it up for community use and improve it as a visitor destination.

.”We intend to restore the lost views over to the Ruins and add new interpretation boards to let visitors know about the site’s history, which includes the remains of the castle, a Scheduled Ancient Monument. We are being helped by the Midhurst Green Volunteers to maintain and improve the site.

"We also hope to improve the fencing and the riverside walk, with its views over the polo fields. Our programme will potentially include historic re-enactments as well as a nature trail for school children.

“This is a new chapter in Midhurst Town Councils support for the town, following on from the installation of the new skatepark and saving the Old Library for the community.”

Chairman of Midhurst Town Council, Carol Lintott, and town and district councillor Gordon McAra

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Exploring the castle at St Ann’s Hill, Midhurst