Horsham of the Doomsday Book

Dear Reader, a few weeks ago Mr Him declared that he was going to take the 1st of May off work and he warned me that he was not going to be 'flopping.'  He was going to have a 'rest.'  This was said with a worrying twinkle in his eye.  I quickly reassured him that this was fine as I had also coincidentally booked the 1st May off work. 'Oh, heck,' he said. Well along those lines but unprintable. Clearly he had planned some secretive May Day activities .  Was dancing around a Maypole  wearing dangly leg bells in the offing? Knowing Mr Him's sense of adventure I wouldn't put it past him!

As a precaution against such horrors I set in motion a plan of distraction. I had a meeting in Horsham on the 1st in the morning.  Mr Him eagerly, too eaglerly, worryingly eagerly, offered to come to Horsham with me.  I became immediately concerned as Horsham is where he grew up.  If  May day pole dancing were to have occurred in his past it would have been here! Did Horsham have a May Pole?  For a few weeks prior I hid the sewing basket and looked out for an uncharacteuristic desire on his part to purchase brightly coloured ribbons.  There was a close encounter at the garden centre when he decided insisted we purchased wind chimes.

The day arrived and I  turned the radio off on the drive over so as I could listen out for the telling sounds of dingling dangly leg bells as he navigated the clutch. However, the journey was accompanied by the blissful sound of crunching as he changed gear and not one single dingle dangle.  I felt safe to leave him for half an hour.

Once my meeting was over Mr Him met me in town looking exceedingly jaunty.  He had a bit of  a bounce to his step. He hadn't found a darn May Pole had he?  I was afraid to ask.  In fact I sooo didn't want to think about it that I had to shop.

After said shopping expedition I felt sustained enough to venture forth into Horsham of old surreptiously looking for a May pole.  I had to know, dear reader.

Horsham is mentioned in the Doomsday Book. (well it would be wouldn't it given Mr Him growing up there.)  It is one of 3 towns in Britain to have a Carfax according to Mr Him. It has a bandstand in the Carfax nowadays

and a war memorial,

and French students.

and not a May Pole, Mr Him assured me this is a flag pole (I didn't ask if he'd already had that conversation with the students.)

This was the old wool market according to Mr Him.  Now a restaurant that we will visit one day.

Some history remains in alleyways

and an Aga shop

and here lived Hammond Innes author

Mr Him's baby sister was married in this church a few years ago.

Then it was time for lunch.  Fish for Friday.

 Paste the link into your browser for more information on Horsham and Carfax' and Morris dancing if you are brave.




  1. My wife and I went to Hastings to see the battlefield. I got a lot of books on the Norman conquest at Foyles, including one by Michael Woods that is very good. He used the Doomsday Book as a reference quite a bit.

  2. Are you still in the dark about Mr Him's nefarious May 1 plans?
    Loved the city tour. Thank you.

  3. Is May 1st Labor Day in the UK like it is in France? Here in the US, nothing happens on May 1st. I am not sure about your maypole tradition – is it some type of folk dancing? I mean, around a pole, turning around and around the pole maybe? Thanks for coming to my blog.

  4. AN AGA STORE???? Why dost thou tease me in such a manner, you Brit? Don't you realize we have no cute towns nor fish and chips nor Agas here in the colonies? We have Kentucky Fried Chicken and Disney World.

  5. What a lovely day.... I swear I can almost hear those tinkling bells and see those bright colored ribbons!

  6. Thanks for the photos, a lovely day indeed! Sorry to hear about your daughter and the exams, hope things have cooled down and maybe it wasn't so bad.

  7. Everyone calls it Hor-sham, but Belloc claims it should be pronounced Hors-ham as the s and h in Sussex names are never joined. i.e. Bosham, et al. Further fascinating info can be found in Belloc's book 'The four men'; essential reading for all Sussex folk.

    1. p.s. My father was educated at Collyers, in the days when it was still a respected private school, other family members were sent to Christ's Hospital (down the road).

  8. I recall visiting Horsham a few decades ago and thinking what a nice place it would be to live in. Will have to revisit one day.

  9. lovely photos and your lunch looks yummy. Was you dh just happy not to be going to work then?

  10. I am exceedingly jealous now... I've wanted an Aga cooker for yonk's years!

  11. Hello newbie here! Horsham looks charming, another place to add to my visit list x

  12. What a lovely looking town. I'd heard good things of it and your photos would seem to justify those reviews. I love the old church especially.

  13. Hey, thank you for commenting on my blog! How did you find it?

    My wife lived in Horsham when she was one until three or something. I have been wanting to see (and blog on) a Maypole as well. I haven't been lucky so far. I try to have fish on Friday too... Actually, any day is a good day for fish.

  14. A place I have never been but looks really pretty with lots of history. I am a great fish on Friday fan too.


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