Cowdray Ruins

Matt Lynch
Article By: Matt Lynch
a year ago
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Culture-Castle Culture-Historical Building Culture-Stately Home Eat & Drink-Cafe Nature-Gardens Nature-Park Nature-River Settlement-Town

In the heart of the South Downs National Park sits the market town of Midhurst. Despite having a busy A-road running through its centre, it's hard not to be swept away by the quaint buildings in this quintessentially English setting. The town is fringed by fabulous rolling hills and deciduous woodland which creates a picture-book feeling to the landscape. A short walk through a floodplain takes you to the River Rother where you're greeted by the astonishing crumbling walls of Cowdray ruins. This is a spectacular example of Tudor architecture and proudly holds claim to visits from King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I. Unfortunately, in 1793, a devastating fire raged through the property destroying all but the exterior foundations. The only section of the house to survive unscathed was the Kitchen Tower. There's a lovely 20-minute walk you can take around the grounds of the mansion. It's possible to add a short extension to the walk along the river and up past Midhurst Castle taking you back to the village center. TOP TIP - Midhurst is home to one of the South Downs National Trust visitor centres. Be sure to stop in to collect some pamphlets and to ask about any additional information you have on the National Park. FOOD & DRINK - Midhurst has numerous cafes along its small high street that are a great place to stop in for a hot drink after your walk around the ruins. Fitzcane's serves excellent coffees and plenty of breakfast and lunch options. On the other end of the village, Garton's Coffee House is also a very popular establishment.
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  • Cowdray Heritage Trust, Visitor Centre, River Ground Stables, Midhurst GU29 9AL, UK
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    Family friendly

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