Was it a pea souper or the Devil’s soup?

From blazing sun to rain and wind – we have had it all here in Sussex lately. On a walk to investigate a prehistoric hill fort above Steyning, West Sussex, we were blasted by a ferocious wind, while at the same time, blinded by thick fog – which seemed a strange weather combination to me. Out of the mist a line of trees suddenly rose above the open fields of the Downs, although it was hard to make out exactly what we were looking at because of the thick fog. Beneath the trees there were strange undulating mounds covered in soft grass that formed a huge circular shape, with younger trees filling the centre. As we stepped into this circle, the wind suddenly dropped, and the space felt eery and, if I had let my imagination run wild, maybe a bit haunted.

Chanctonbury Ring has been a sacred place for over 2000 years. Neolithic flint work, Bronze Age pottery and the remains of a Roman temple have been uncovered here and some believe it is a place of mystic druid power. A local myth claims that the Devil built the Ring and if you run around it anti-clockwise seven times, he will appear and give you a bowl of soup in exchange for your soul. It must be a hell of a bowl of soup, but I think I will forgo running around the Ring seven times just in case.

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