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SDGT Old Steyning Rifle Range

A cache by SouthDownsNPA Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 02/02/2015
2 out of 5
2.5 out of 5

Size: Size: micro (micro)

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Geocache Description:

Note the secret code in this cache and find others to earn yourself a geocoin as part of The South Downs GeoTour. Record the codes in the #SDGeoTour passport, downloadable from our website or at SDGT Visitors Welcome.

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A small, traditional cache hidden in the supporting wall of the historic Steyning rifle range.

Walk west from Steyning through the valley and cross the style at the end. Turn right down the brick wall and search for the cache towards the end.


Historic Steyning rifle range

As well as being farmed, the valley you have just walked through was once rifle range, used to train troops from for 120 years, from the mid-nineteenth century to the mid-1980's. A succession of wars in the mid-nineteenth century, particularly the Crimean War had depleted the number of troops left in Britain for defence, particularly from the newly aggressive France - a country close enough for an invasion to be a realistic possibility. To solve this problem the Rifle Volunteers - a part time army consisting of volunteers - formed in 1859. As Sussex would likely be on the front line in any potential war with France, 19 Corps of Volunteers were based around major towns along the coast of the counties. The 18th Corp was based at Henfield, and incorporated Steyning and the surrounding area. To be accepted as a recognised Corps, a safe and suitable area for musketry practice needed to be provided. With its steep side slopes and flat valley floor, the Steyning rifle range was a perfect location for this.

The remains of targets can still be seen along this wall at the head of the rifle range. The metal frames are thought to date from the First World War, whilst the other buildings and structures are probably slightly later, dating from the Second World War. During it's operation, paper targets would have been attached the metal frames and hoisted above the brick wall reinforced bank. These could then be lowered once firing had ceased, so that the riflemen could see how they had done.

The rifle range was finally closed in the mid-1980s, after reduce demand and concern for public safety on a site which had become increasingly used as for recreation. However, as well as the remnants of the target machinery, you can also still see the mounds of earth traversing the valley, marking 100 and 200yrds from the targets.


Catch a bus to Steyning to explore this area: buses link with Worthing, Midhurst and Horsham.

You can cycle to this geocache, access to the area is via the bridleway to the north of the cache coordinates, please walk the last section into the rifle range (lots of trees if you'd prefer to lock your bike up).

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Frnepu sbe n jbbqra cyht jvgu n obyg cebgehqvat bhg va gur jnyy. Gur pnpur vf uvqqra oruvaq guvf.

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)



176 Logged Visits

Found it 167     Didn't find it 4     Write note 2     Publish Listing 1     Needs Maintenance 1     Owner Maintenance 1     

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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum

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