Review of Midhurst by Alma Friston on February 25th, 2007
My husband and I spent our honeymoon at the Royal Oak on Saturday 5th of March 1955. At that time it was a small inn which only sold beer. I believe we only stayed there because of a favour by friends. Adelightful couple ran it, the name escapes me, possibly Harry and his wife. They had a relative staying with them who was a funeral director, what stories were told that night . they kept us up until midnight. I remember a fox pelt hanging on the door which led to a small dining room and the upstairs bedroom, It must have changed considerably since then.I remember the landlord used to go round the village to pick up any regulars who had trouble walking.
Review of Midhurst by John Trueman, Editor, Midhurst Pages on April 20th, 2006
In 2004 Country Life Magazine voted Midhurst in West Sussex the Best Place to Live in Southern England. It is a small, compact Market Town with under 5000 inhabitants and is surrounded by beautiful, accessible countryside which is ideal for walking, mountain-biking and riding. North Street pavements are wide and have, in addition, a cobbled margin where cars and unloading lorries are allowed to park. Although the road through Midhurst, North Street, is generally busy, especially in the holiday months, you never feel hemmed in by the traffic which is slowed down by a new mini-roundabout and pedestrian crossing. There are two International Hotels - the Spread Eagle and Angel - and numerous pubs and restaurants. Surprisingly, there are several avante garde ladies fashion shops, an organic butchers, a traditional 'gentleman's outfitters' and antique shops offering discontinued china antique silver and old clocks. A kitchen company - arguably one of the best in Southern England - has its HQ and Showroom in the town. Cowdray Castle is, in part, being renovated to keep the structure from collapsing, and a new visitor centre will become active in 2007. The Tudor Walled Garden at the Cowdray Ruins is well worth a visit; and a walk a long the banks of the River Rother a complete delight. The 1000 year old Queen Elizabeth oak is still florishing in Cowdray Park - Queen Elizabeth 1 visited the oak when dropping in on Cowdray Castle in the 16th century.For those studying the old wildwood of Britain, Cowdray Park with its old oaks and chesnuts, and the adjoing Petworth Park, is a big surprise Midhurst is a popular film set and has recently played host to Foyle's War, the period whodunnit, set in World War 2. Episodes 1 and 2 were filmed in Church Hill and Knockhundred Row. Details may be viewed here: www.violetdesigns.co.uk/foyles_war_midhurst.htm For building historians and architects studying vernacular architecture Midhurst is an essential place to visit as the town is rich in buildings dating back to the 15th century, mostly extremely well preserved. Listed Building architects involved in the town's renovations have their business in Hedley within easy motoring distance.In conjunction with the vernacular architecture studies at the near-by Weald & Downland Museum, Midhurst provides a venue for studying the migration of vernacular architecture to Virginia in the US from the time of the first settlements. Midhurst is also an ideal spot to start a collection of Pub Signs as there are numerous inns; and many more popular pubs in the outlying villages. One a year in the satellite village of Heyshott an open-air rally and working exhibtion of old farm tractors, threshing machines and farm implements is held with ploughing competitions with the 'old' or traditional kit. Defintely a 'must' for farm and countryside historians. There are two large free public carparks, one adjoining North Street and the other at the Grange on the southern edge of the town. There are outdoor cafes and secluded gardens where you can enjoy peace and tranquillity. H.G.Wells grew up in the town and you can walk in the footsteps of the Invisible Man. Historians of World War 2, especially the invasion period when many British, Canadian and American troops were stationed in West Sussex,will find the cental location of Midhurst ideal for their studies. There is a computer centre where visitors may undertake research on the Internet and the West Sussex Record Office is only an easy 15 minutes drive away in Chichester. People hunting for antiques, including French Country Furniture, find Midhurst's central location - between Petworth in the east and Petersfield in the west - ideal. There are probably more antique businesses in these three towns than anywhere else in the UK, and travelling between the towns is a quick,effortless, country drive. Finally, for riders and polo enthusiasts this is the ultimate horsey part of England.If you are Londoner and want to spend the week-end riding start by contacting the Cowdray Estate which has holiday cottages to let near Benbow Pond. For more information on Midhurst visit the Community Website at www.violetdesigns.co.uk/midhurst.htm
Review of Midhurst by on March 24th, 2006
A beautiful town 6miles from Petworth, with the ruins of Cowdray House a major attraction. Queen Elizabeth the First stayed here in 1597, and apparently shot a deer in Cowdray Park. Her younger brother, Edward the Sixth, also came to Midhurst, staying at Cowdray where he was 'excessively banketted' (sic), according to his diaries.