Monday 29 March 2021

Further down the line.

From another stroll with my friend H last weekend along the disused railway line which used to run from Horsham to Guildford [axed by Beeching in June 1965]. Nowadays it's been converted into a locally popular public path called The Downs Link. I've walked along different stretches in the past few few months, but this route was a new one for me.

This amble started out from the village of Rudgwick [yes my second visit this month....still doin' that local yokel thang until I can travel freely again😄] and took us out to Baynards where the original station and platforms are still standing.  It's now privately owned and has been sensitively restored. You can see the platforms from the path, but there is a notice asking people not to share photos of it online as it their home.  It has featured in different films and if you've ever seen the Poirot episode "The Hollow" it's apparently in that.  

There are however, other remnants in the public domain that I can share. Back in the 1970s H and her brother used to be able to climb inside this ventilator which originally came out from the tunnel below. Since then the entrance has been concreted over. The tunnel is home to a bat colony.

The bridge has some very stylish brick detailing.

Further round there's a rather imposing large Victorian house called Baynards Manor. I didn't take any photos other than this one and only because I couldn't read the blue plaque on it. Although the house is now the registered office for the charity "The Baynards Zambia Trust", I wanted to find out who the famous former occupant was. Unlike London, blue plaques are not ten a penny around here, so it's always exciting when I come across one...particularly ones like this in the middle of the countryside. You can see that I've had to sneak a photo over the property wall as it is!

Once back at GBT I was able to zoom in on it to find out more and I can now tell you that it is for an artist and sculptor called Glyn Philpot who lived here from 1927-1935. Being very unfamiliar with many artists really I looked him up online.  He was most well known for the portraits he painted during the 1920s of the well known figures of the day including Siegfried Sassoon. He was a founder member of the National Portrait Gallery in 1911. Over time his success gave him the financial means to travel and a growing interest in less mainstream subject matter. He had converted to Catholicism in 1905 and this, alongside his acceptance of his sexuality, saw him creating work in a far more modernist style and a rejection of some of his pieces by the Royal Academy because of the imagery they showed. Sadly he fell out of favour and died suddenly in 1937. His longterm partner took his life on the day of Philpot's funeral. Nowadays I am pleased to say that his work has seen a revival of interest and he is celebrated as an early LGBTQ painter. One of his murals can be seen in St Stephen's Hall, Westminster.



  1. Interesting history of the former owner and his changes in art style.I always enjoy your walks,even when to you, they are local.

    1. Thanks Sam. I've enjoyed doing them too as, prior to Covid, I had done very little walking locally as we were always busy doing other things. Arilx

  2. You do find such interesting things to photograph. I've been online to see where the blue plaques are in Suffolk - seems mostly in the main towns.

    1. I just happened to notice it on our way back. We've got a couple in Horsham. Arilx


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