Founded by the West Saxons, the village of Slindon near Arundel, West Sussex, stands on the southern slopes of the South Downs, surrounded by the 3,500-acre Slindon Park Estate. Now owned by the National Trust, the estate includes much of the village and the famous beech-woods, through which runs the Roman Stane Street.

The village, whose name means ?sloping hill?, is a homogenous collection of flint and brick buildings built over two and a half centuries between 1693 and 1922. The 11th-century village church has a wooden effigy of a reclining Tudor knight, the only such example of its kind in Sussex. Nowadays, the village is internationally known for its magnificent pumpkins sold at the ?Pumpkin House? in Top Road, between August and November.

Houses in this heavily-protected village are much sought-after and command high prices, with freeholds as rare as hens? teeth, say local agents Jackson-Stops & Staff (01243 533736).

A three-bedroom cottage on a long National Trust lease can cost upwards of £400,000, says the firm?s Mark Astley, who quotes a guide price of £975,000 for the remaining 75-year lease of Church House on Church Hill. Described as ?the quintessential Georgian village house?, Church House has three reception rooms, four bedrooms, two bathrooms, stabling, walled gardens, and 0.75 of an acre of grounds.