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A Grisly tale

During the 1970s thirteen bodies were exhumed close to our 10th tee, to the right of the dew pond just over the boundary fence. All were males aged 15 to 34, face down with their hands tied behind their backs. (Some bones had come to light as a result of burrowing animals and erosion along the path that flanks the golf course.) It was only within the past ten years that from tooth analysis, the age of the discovery was dated to around 890 - 900 AD and the bodies were almost certainly all Norwegian.
Archaeologists believe this was a public execution on Malling Hill and as the site was not fully excavated, there may be other bodies, perhaps up to about a total of 35, the normal crew size of a Viking longboat. To add to the intrigue, the Saxon Chronicles records that 3 Viking boats unsuccessfully attacked London in the period in question and that one of the boats then moved off round the South coast. Anyway, whatever happened, it looks pretty certain that all the tales you hear of the Vikings beating up the local Anglo Saxons, when they came to Lewes, they got their comeuppance!

Picnic with a difference

The other interesting issue concerns the tumulus alongside the 9th green which probably dates to the iron age or earlier. It is huge and must have been the grave of a very important person. It is know locally as "The Camel" owing to the dip in the middle where it has been robbed out. Nobody knows who did this but apparently the Victorians used to have Sunday afternoon picnics and would get their staff to dig into the tumuli to see what they could find but rarely kept any record of such events. When the tumulus was first built it would have been bright white chalk and it must have been a spectacular site when viewed from the centre of Lewes high street where it appears on the skyline immediately above the Coombe.