Where, and what, is the ‘Trundle’?
Also known as Saint Roche’s Hill, the ‘Trundle’ is a vantage point high on the South Downs, at an elevation of 675 feet, approximately three miles north of the cathedral city of Chichester, West Sussex in South East England. Strictly speaking, the ‘Trundle’ refers to an Iron Age hill fort on Saint Roche’s Hill, the ditches and embankments marking the perimeter of which are still clearly visible, but nowadays the names are often used interchangeably. The name ‘Trundle’ is derived from the Old English word ‘tryndel’, or its variant ‘trendel’, meaning ‘circle’ or ‘ring’.
The top of the Trundle offers panoramic views across the coastal plain, and the English Channel beyond, to the south and the Weald to the north. In particular, from a horse racing perspective, the northeastern slope of the Trundle offers a clear view of Goodwood Racecourse, making it a popular, inexpensive, albeit slightly remote, viewing platform when racing is in progress. In 1933, the Duke of Richmond fenced in most of the Trundle and built an admission gate to create the ‘Trundle Enclosure’, with an admission fee of 3/- per person. The Trundle may not be as popular a vantage point as it once was, but is easily accessible by car, with a car park near the top, and nowadays offers free grandstand views of the racecourse.