Shakespearean sign appears in Midhurst

A mysterious sign which appeared in Midhurst this week
A mysterious sign which appeared in Midhurst this week

THERE has been comment about the name given to the new development taking place in the former St Margaret’s Convent School on Midhurst’s Petersfield Road.

In fact, Midhurst town councillors were only commenting on the choice of the name ‘The Montagues’ at their planning meeting earlier this week.

Town clerk Joan Hursthouse even joked: “All we need is another development called the Capulets to have our own full-blown Shakespearean play!”

Well, it seems some wag out there had the same idea because this week a mysterious sign appeared pointing to another development on the other side of the road, we are asked to believe was called ‘The Capulets’.

We do not know how many drivers along the busy A286 to work were left wondering about Midhurst’s Shakespearean connections because as quickly as the sign appeared, it disappeared again.

But for the record, the Montagues owned Cowdray House (now The Cowdray Ruins), once a magnificent Tudor mansion of great social, political, historical and archaeological significance.

They were great men of the Courts of Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I, both of whom stayed there.

The Montague family were prominent Catholics and their connection with Guy Fawkes, employed in the household in his youth, resulted in a heavy fine and 40 weeks’ imprisonment in the Tower of London for the second Viscount Montague after the discovery of the Gunpowder plot in 1605.