ROWLANDS CASTLE has all the appearances of a traditonal English village – a crescent of green at the centre, flanked by cottages, Georgian and Victorian houses. A large country house, Deerleap, stands behind a flint wall opposite, and has in its grounds the remains of the castle that gave the village its name. The place is stiff with money and retired medics and naval officers. There is a long waiting-list of people eager to pay the not inconsiderable fee to join the golf club. The village has its own primary school, shops, five foodie pubs on the green, vet, doctor’s surgery, football and cricket pitches, tennis and cricket clubs. Huge detached houses built in the Twenties and Thirties with an acre of garden sell for around £800,000 in Links Lane, which is the smartest address. Bowes Hill is also smart, with four- and five-bedroom houses of the same period priced between £500,000 and £600,000. Nearby is Ditcham Park, the private school for boys and girls, which has a liberal tradition, but is not as fashionable as Bedales. Rowlands Castle is strung between the ancient Forest of Bere and Stansted Park, the family seat of the Earl and Countess of Bessborough, which is open to the public.