The farm I was last at, with the donkeys and angora goat also had two Labrador dogs, Jeffrey and his mum Millie.
I went out with them a few times, notice I don’t say I walked them, they mostly walked me. My arms are now so long they drag attractively along the ground.
This WWOOF farm’s location is in Ditchling Common where on May 26th 1734 a terrible murder took place.
One Jacob Harris or Yacob Hirsch, a travelling pedlar, murdered the landlord of The Royal Oak, Richard Miles along with his wife and maid.
Harris was later caught and taken to Horsham Gaol. He was executed and his body returned to Ditchling and hung in a jibbet, until it disintegrated (they liked to make sure in those days!).
The post, topped with a rooster, was left as a reminder of the crime and became known as Jacob’s Post. To this day the area is still named after it. It has been replaced many times, not only due to normal wear from the elements, but also from the practice of people removing pieces of the post, believing it to have curative powers.
I can’t find out when this photo was taken, but the current post that the dogs and I passed several times, looks nothing like this. The area is completely overgrown these days, save for the narrow footpath that passes it.
Predictably the area is thought to be haunted, a rumour probably maintained by successive landlords of The Royal Oak to drum up business. The pub is currently closed down.