Mysterious potholes on Rumbolds Hill at Midhurst caused by hidden medieval ditch

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A Medieval ditch is the latest theory for the reoccurring mysterious depressions appearing in the busy Rumbolds Hill section of the A272 through the centre of Midhurst.

Chairman of the town council’s planning committee Gordon McAra told fellow members West Sussex County Council were looking at resurfacing the road and digging deeper down than in the past to find out what was causing the problem.

It will be the sixth time in seven years that resurfacing has had to be carried out.

He said he believed the problem was caused by an ancient medieval or post medieval ditch which came to light 18 yeas ago in an archaeological survey of the former Egmont Arms on Rumbolds Hill.

The pub has long since vanished and is now a house, but Mr MrAra said the survey showed a ditch at least one metre deep and 1.8m wide “running parallel to Rumbolds Hill along the street frontage.”

Other theories over the past seven years include secret cellars and tunnels, bank vaults and an underground stream.

Mr McAra warned that if major work had to be carried out there would have to be serious diversions all over the county to cope with the closure of Rumbolds Hill which carries both A272 and A286 traffic.

It could be done in the next financial year falling under ‘emergency works’ he said.

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