Medieval ditch theory for sinking Midhurst road is ruled out

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AS the road surface on Rumbolds Hill in Midhurst continues to crack and sink the cause continues to be the talk of the town.

Midhurst historian Bridget Howard has discounted the latest theory which comes from county councillor Gordon McAra that the road is sinking into a medieval ditch.

“He is right that an archaeological survey discovered a medieval ditch, but it doesn’t go anywhere near Rumbolds Hill,” she said.

It was probably a defence against the Vikings, she said, but the survey map showed it ran from the south side of St Ann’s Hill, along the back of Edinburgh Square, across South Street to the Jacobean Hall at The Spread Eagle turning at a right angle between Wool and Duck Lanes: “Then it went north coming to what is now Knockhundred Row, turned and went back to St Ann’s Hill - three sides of a square.”

Bridget added: “I believe the tunnel theory for the sinking road is folk memory of this ancient ditch.”

Meanwhile West Sussex County Council says it is still monitoring the state of the road.

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