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Ten things you didn't know about Stanmer Park
Updated 2:04pm Tuesday 28th January 2014 in News
Today, The Argus reports on plans to restore Brighton's wonderful Stanmer Park.
Here are ten things you may not have known about one of the city's most ancient sites.
1. The name Stanmer is derived from the Anglo-Saxon words ‘stan’ meaning ‘stone’ and ‘mere’ meaning ‘pond’.
2. There is evidence of human habitation within Stanmer Park extending back as far as the Neolithic Period, some 6,000 years ago.
3. The Pelham family, later the earls of Chichester, who bought the Stanmer estate in 1713 were descended from Oliver Cromwell.
4. During the Second World War the estate was requisitioned from the Pelham family to provide billeting and fire ranges for a Canadian tank regiment.
5. The estate was bought by the County Borough of Brighton in 1948 to ensure rainwater could continue to be absorbed into its chalk and secure the town's water supply.
6. Stanmer and the rest of the South Downs' undulating landscape was caused by Africa crashing into Europe, which also created the Alps.
7. It is rumoured that one of George IV's mistresses lived at Stanmer Park.
8. The badger sculpture behind Stanmer House was carved over eight months in 1991 by Reece Ingram from a tree originally planted by the Earl of Chichester 163 years before. It had survived the Great Storm of 1987, in which 45% of the wood's trees had fallen, but came down in another storm two years later. The work was sponsored by American Express.
9. Close to the badgers are two gravestones believed to be part of a pet cemetery. One is dedicated to Snowy, who died in 1889, and one to Tip, who died in 1888.
10. A bid to enter the Guiness World Records with a mass Kate Bush dance performance last year failed - because officials said the song chosen, Wuthering Heights, was not iconic enough.
Do you know any other interesting facts about Brighton's largest open space? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
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