some driving advantages of Wickham Lane by
C L Scribbler - July 19,
|If you amble along
Chiltington Lane with the Downs
to your right then when you get to the end of the lane you'll have a choice of
turning up to your left or dropping down under the railway bridge #670 on
Up on the left is Wickham Lane.
This is even narrower in parts than Chiltington Lane - so most
of the time it's not what you'd ideally choose from an easy driveability
angle - but from there are some times when it's the best way in or out -
the maps may tell you.
Wickham Lane is the best choice in 2
- When the alternative roads are flooded.
flooded roads - what floods?
- If you've got a high vehicle which might get stuck under a railway bridge.
Relax. This isn't Lewes. We're a
lot higher up and have the benefits of a stream which takes water away at the
When I talk about flooding - I mean flash rain which
collects at the lowest point on the roads for a couple of hours - the type of
thing which you may be tempted to accelerate and splash through - but
In the early years of my living here it wasn't unusual for
the Plumptonward exit past the end of Chiltington Lane to be under 6 to 12
inches of water at the dip in the road at the bridge in Highbridge Lane.
And on such days if you were hoping instead to go via Beechwood
Lane or Allington Lane then you might encounter something more like 2 to 3
feet of water under the railway bridge.
In the dark it was always hard
to judge just how high the water under the bridge might be. And this was a
guessing game which even residents sometimes got wrong.
Due to a number
of misjudgements and flooded cars - the powers that be placed rulers by the
side of the road in 2017 to tell you how deep the water was. (Although
initially they were positioned too high up the slope and so provided a false
sense of security about the depth at the deepest point).
This degree of
road flooding hasn't happened much in recent years due to the ditches having
been cleared more regularly and some adjustments having been made in the
surface of the road.
But every now and again if the rain is really
heavy and especially if I'm on my way back home from a long trip (because the
detour around the low points of the roads is many miles) I ask myself - is it
one of those days to head for Wickham Lane regardless of what the satnav
Having said all that - it's always pretty walking in
Wickham Lane as the elevation (compared to Chiltington Lane) opens up many
different lovely views - which sometimes includes fresh cherries too. The
cherries aren't growing on the trees but if you turn left as you exit Wickham
Lane at the junction with the A275 then within a hundred hundred yards or so
you'll see a lay by on the left which at this time of year sells fresh
cherries and other fruit.
I used to include the lay by as a clue to
visitors coming from the Chailey end of the A275 that they were imminently
approaching Wickham Lane and getting close to where I live. But the lay by is
such a subtle change in the landscape that it's not as helpful as you might
think and many times I've overshot it myself.
Anyway I noticed this
week that Boundary Hall in Wickham Lane has recently come onto the market. You
can see it and along with some pictures of Wickham Lane
on the estate agent's website.
Final Spring in
in Chiltington Lane - how it's grown