Poynings

Poynings village is of 8th-9th century Saxon origin and is situated in the Mid-Sussex district. The name Poynings derives from an Old English verb - ‘punian', meaning to pound or hammer. It is mentioned in the Domesday Book as having a church and two water mills. After the Norman conquest Thomas de Poynings, Lord of the Manor, adopted the name of the village as the family name. He rebuilt Holy Trinity Church which remains unaltered after six hundred years. The church contains a wall painting of the Ten Commandments.

Poynings popularity took off in the 19th century as a vantage point for sightseeing at nearby Devil's Dyke. First Regency era Brighton and then the railway enabled more people to visit the area. Visitors during the period included William 1V, Queen Victoria, writer Sir Walter Scott and artist John Constable, who described the view as "one of the greatest landscapes in the world".

The Brighton to Devil's Dyke railway brought hundreds of visitors to see the view as well as a few speculators. H.J Hubbard, traveller and 'Big Game' hunter, owned the land there are created a 'tourist resort' with hotel, games and amusements. A funicular railway was constructed on the north slope, followed by Britain's first aerial railway across the valley, to enable large numbers of people to access and enjoy the landscape.  Although both are long gone, their remains are still visible. Devil's Dyke is now in the care of the National Trust and there is a daily bus service from central Brighton.

Notable dwellings in Poynings village include Downmere, former home to Emile Littler who's brother, Prince Littler, founded both the London Palladium and ITV, and Greenacres, former home to Tommy Walton who made his fortune from greengrocer's shops (at one time on every London station platform). He kept racehorses at Dyke Farmm in the 1930's.

For Hotels, B&B, and Self-Catering places to stay in and around Poynings there are some lovely choices available here.

 

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