The Slaugham Archives

Wellingtonias at Handcross Park
The Slaugham Archive
Wellingtonias at Handcross Park

As part of the construction of the dual carriageway between Handcross and Pease Pottage, land was purchased from the Handcross Park estate to provide the southbound carriageway. This included a row of Wellingtonias which have never been fully appreciated as they have suffered from becoming the central reservation of the A23 in 1960. The picture shows the land clearance taking place to provide the route for the southbound carriageway looking southwards.
It is rumoured that the Handcross Park Wellingtonias were planted still in their baskets.
Victorian gentry must have been vying with each other to get the latest “must-have” foreign plant or tree for their estates. In 1853 the Sequoiadendron Giganteum was introduced to Britain and was immediately named the Wellingtonia in memory of the recently-deceased Duke of Wellington.
The dual carriageway survived for just over 20 years before a new A23 was built a short distance to the west and the southbound carriageway was permitted to return to nature, no doubt much to the delight of the Wellingtonias.

View Large Version View Large Version
Picture added on 11 December 2012 at 16:19
This picture is in the following groups
Roads - Handcross - Balcombe Lane and London Road
In about 1980 it was announced in a local newspaper that street lights were to be erected along part of the A23. The Large Version displays the cutting which was kindly supplied by Beverley Ansell.
It’s not easy nowadays to work out precisely where the street lights were to be installed. When the Handcross bridge was finally opened in the 1960s the A23 was a dual carriageway from Pease Pottage running to the east of Coopers Wood, Nashlands Cottages, Hoadlands Cottages and the school before veering off to the west of the High Street and onwards to the bridge.
Close to the school, there was an exit for the southbound traffic on the A23 leading to the High Street and this A-class road was the A279. It continued from the junction with the A23 through the High Street, over the bridge, and finished just beyond Lower Beeding where it met the Horsham to Cowfold road (A281) at Prongers Corner.
Thus, the new lighting was to be installed along the A23 from its junction with the A279 to Nashlands Cottages, just south of Coopers Wood, a distance of 450 yards.
In the 1980s a new section of the A23 was built to the west of those houses mentioned above and the dual carriageway was converted to single carriageway. The A279 was downgraded to a B-class road, and the Balcombe Lane B2110 number was extended to replace the A279 number throughout, except for the short stretch from The Plough to Prongers Corner where it became the B2115.
Alas, the A279 is no more!

Added by Barry Ray on 30 June 2018
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