About the Project

Belloc, Broadwood and Beyond is a Heritage Lottery Fund project run through Rusper Parochial Church Council. The project is to research the life and times of Lucy Broadwood (1858 – 1929), the folk song collector, who is buried in Rusper; and the writer and poet, Hilaire Belloc (1870 – 1953), who lived for most of his life at Kingsland in Shipley.

In 2013 during his sabbatical, the Reverend Nick Flint fulfilled a long cherished ambition to saunter across Sussex, inspired by the walk which inspired Belloc’s The Four Men. Nick wrote “Cautionary Pilgrim” based on his own walk and it was through the interest this generated that he got to know local historian Chris Hare and his wife Ann Feloy who has written a play based on The Four Men which was revived in 2018. Meanwhile family history research established that Nick and Charlotte Broadwood share common ancestry. Charlotte was the wife of the Reverend John Broadwood, the Godfather of the Folk Song Revival whose niece Lucy Broadwood continued his pioneering work into the audio recording age. It was through this shared love of Sussex tradition and of Belloc in particular that Chris and Nick conceived the project, Belloc, Broadwood and Beyond.

Belloc, wrote ‘Sussex songs’ in the folk style. During this project we ran workshops, teaching some of these songs and also some of the songs that Lucy collected on the Sussex/ Hampshire border.


Lucy Broadwood


Hillaire Belloc

The Four Men


The Coronavirus and Belloc & Broadwood

These are worrying times for us all, although it is good to remember that the risk of this virus to most people (even older people) is comparatively small, however, there are other, less reported consequences. Global greenhouse gas emissions are …
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A strange Belloc experience

In 1985 A.N.Wilson published his biography of Hilaire Belloc. As part of his research he visited Julian Jebb (Belloc’s grandson) who was then living at Belloc’s old home, Kingsland. Wilson arrived with a BBC camera crew. Jebb allowed them full …
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Elections in Belloc’s time

Many commentators thought our recent, 2019, general election was one of the most aggressive and intolerant ever. Our first stop is 1910 and the January election of that year. Belloc’s biographer, Robert Spaight takes up the story:- ” Belloc and …
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Lucy Broadwood

We will be continuing to research the Lucy Broadwood archive at the Surrey History Centre during the summer, with the intention of completing this research by the end of August at the latest. If you would like to get involved in this aspect of the project, please email Chris at sussexhistory.hare@gmail.com

Oral History

Over the summer we will be conducting oral history interviews with people who remember Hilaire Belloc and also remember both villages in past decades. Please email Chris if you would like to be involved in this work.

End of project concert/ CD and book

The project will end with the publication of the CD/ book and the placing of information boards at Rusper and Shipley. The project is scheduled to conclude by the 31st December 2019, although at extension until Easter is possible if more time is needed to complete all these final tasks.

We plan to have an end-of-project celebration, with a concert (possibly at Worthing) and the launch of the book and CD. We may also run a special one-day workshop in the autumn (venue to be decided) to update on the Lucy Broadwood research.

Proof Reading

The curse of all books and CD notes are the gremlins that slip through! If you are eagle-eyed when it comes to spelling and grammar and have the time to do some proof-reading at the necessary moment, please let Chris know. There is nothing worse than to open up a newly published book and see an error staring back at you – so proof-readers are the real heroes of any project!

Concert at Rusper, 21st July 2019

We performed at the Rusper Village fete on Sunday 21st July at Rusper Church. You can view a video of the event below:



Starting in October 2018 we ran monthly workshops teaching some of the songs collected by Lucy Broadwood and the songs written by Hilaire Belloc.

As well as the songs, we explored the lives of these two colourful personalities with particular attention to their local connections.

The workshops ran from October 2018 until April 2019 and thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) these courses were free. We ran the workshops in Rusper at St. Mary’s Church, and in Worthing at Broadwater Parish Rooms.


Recording Day

On Saturday 18th May both Rusper and Worthing groups met together at St. Mary’s, Rusper, to practice all the songs they learned. The activities  on the day were filmed and recorded so that we have a record on the website.

During the day Mike Hennessy, Chairman of the Hilaire Belloc Society gave a talk entitled, ‘Hilaire Belloc: the world in a glass.’


Mike is a great speaker and very knowledgeable about both Belloc and wine!

Then on Saturday 1st June both Rusper and Worthing groups met again at St. Mary’s, Rusper to record the songs.

We hope that the CD and booklet will be ready either for the anniversary of Belloc’s birthday on 27th July, or Broadwood’s on 9th August.