Friday, 19 June 2015


Clayton is a small village nestling under the steep, north face of the South Downs just to the north of Brighton.  the village, or what there is of it, lies on a narrow lane off the main road.  Here there is a cluster of house and the village church, which has medieval wall paintings done by the monks from the Priory at Lewes (which no longer exists).  There is a pub just outside the village on the main road.

The village has three claims to fame:
  1. A house just outside the village is the home of Dame Vera Lynn, the Forces' Sweetheart of World war II.

  2. On the hill above the village stand two windmills - Jack and Jill.

    Jack (left) and Jill as seen from the bottom of the hill.
  3. Clayton Tunnel, a railway tunnel worthy of note because at the time it was built in the 1840s it was considered a marvel of the engineering world. The tunnel, which is 2,066 metres long, is still in daily use as the main London to Brighton line gets swallowed up by it.  Reputedly haunted, it was also the scene of one of Britain’s worst railway disasters in 1861 when a three train pile up left 23 people dead and 175 injured in the tunnel.  The northern entrance to the tunnel is fashioned like a castle and really is a dwelling house.

And finally, the village as seen from Jack and Jill:

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