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Title: Highways & Byways in Sussex

Author: E.V. Lucas

Illustrator: Frederick Griggs

Release Date: February 27, 2007 [EBook #20696]

Language: English


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Highways and Byways in Sussex

 

BY E. V. LUCAS
WITH · ILLUSTRATIONS · BY
FREDERICK L. GRIGGS

 

MACMILLAN AND CO., LIMITED
ST. MARTIN'S STREET, LONDON
1921

 

COPYRIGHT.
First Edition printed February 1904.
Reprinted, April 1904, 1907, 1912, 1919, 1921.

PREFACE

Readers who are acquainted with the earlier volumes of this series will not need to be told that they are less guide-books than appreciations of the districts with which they are concerned. In the pages that follow my aim has been to gather a Sussex bouquet rather than to present the facts which the more practical traveller requires.

The order of progress through the country has been determined largely by the lines of railway. I have thought it best to enter Sussex in the west at Midhurst, making that the first centre, and to zig-zag thence across to the east by way of Chichester, Arundel, Petworth, Horsham, Brighton (I name only the chief centres), Cuckfield, East Grinstead, Lewes, Eastbourne, Hailsham, Hastings, Rye, and Tunbridge Wells; leaving the county finally at Withyham, on the borders of Ashdown Forest. For the traveller in a carriage or on a bicycle this route is not the best; but for those who would explore it slowly on foot (and much of the more characteristic scenery of Sussex can be studied only in this way), with occasional assistance from the train, it is, I think, as good a scheme as any.

I do not suggest that it is necessary for the reader who travels through Sussex to take the same route: he would probably prefer to cover the county literally strip by strip—the Forest strip from Tunbridge Wells to Horsham, the Weald strip from Billingshurst to Burwash, the Downs strip from Racton to Beachy Head—rather than follow my course, north to south, and south to north, across the land. But the book is, I think, the gainer by these tangents, and certainly its author is happier, for they bring him again and again back to the Downs.

It is impossible at this date to write about Sussex, in accordance with the plan of the present series, without saying a great many things that others have said before, and without making use of the historians of the county. To the collections of the Sussex Archæological Society I am greatly indebted; also to Mr. J. G. Bishop's Peep into the Past, and to Mr. W. D. Parish's Dictionary of the Sussex Dialect. Many other works are mentioned in the text.

The history, archæology, and natural history of the county have been thoroughly treated by various writers; but there are, I have noticed, fewer books than there should be upon Sussex men and women. Carlyle's saying that every clergyman should write the history of his parish (which one might amend to the history of his parishioners) has borne too little fruit in our district; nor have lay observers arisen in any number to atone for the shortcoming. And yet Sussex must be as rich in good character, pure, quaint, shrewd, humorous or noble, as any other division of England. In the matter of honouring illustrious Sussex men and women, the late Mark Antony Lower played his part with The Worthies of Sussex, and Mr. Fleet with Glimpses of Our Sussex Ancestors; but the Sussex "Characters," where are they? Who has set down their "little unremembered acts," their eccentricities, their sterling southern tenacities? The Rev. A. D. Gordon wrote the history of Harting, and quite recently the Rev. C. N. Sutton has published his interesting Historical Notes of Withyham, Hartfield, and Ashdown Forest; and there may be other similar parish histories which I am forgetting. But the only books that I have seen which make a patient and sympathetic attempt to understand the people of Sussex are Mr. Parish's Dictionary, Mr. Egerton's Sussex Folk and Sussex Ways, and "John Halsham's" Idlehurst. How many rare qualities of head and heart must go unrecorded in rural England.

I have to thank my friend Mr. C. E. Clayton for his kindness in reading the proofs of this book and in suggesting additions.

E. V. L.

December 12, 1903.

P.S.—The sheets of the one-inch ordnance map of Sussex are fourteen in all, their numbers running thus:

300
Alresford 301
Haslemere 302
Horsham 303
T. Wells 304
Tenterden 316
Fareham 317
Chichester 318
Brighton 319
Lewes 320
Hastings 331
Portsmouth 332
Bognor 333
Worthing 334
Eastbourne

PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION

In the present edition a number of small errors have been corrected and a new chapter amplifying certain points and supplying a deficit here and there has been added. The passage about Stane Street is reprinted from the Times Literary Supplement by kind permission.

E. V. L.

April 20, 1904

The Barbican, Lewes Castle.

The Barbican, Lewes Castle.

CONTENTS
PREFACE PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS CHAPTER I MIDHURST CHAPTER II MIDHURST'S VILLAGES CHAPTER III FIRST SIGHT OF THE DOWNS CHAPTER IV CHICHESTER CHAPTER V CHICHESTER AND THE HILLS CHAPTER VI CHICHESTER AND THE PLAIN CHAPTER VII ARUNDEL AND NEIGHBOURHOOD CHAPTER VIII LITTLEHAMPTON CHAPTER IX AMBERLEY AND PARHAM CHAPTER X PETWORTH CHAPTER XI BIGNOR CHAPTER XII HORSHAM CHAPTER XIII ST. LEONARD'S FOREST CHAPTER XIV WEST GRINSTEAD, COWFOLD AND HENFIELD CHAPTER XV STEYNING AND BRAMBER CHAPTER XVI CHANCTONBURY, WASHINGTON, AND WORTHING CHAPTER XVII BRIGHTON CHAPTER XVIII ROTTINGDEAN AND WHEATEARS CHAPTER XIX SHOREHAM CHAPTER XX THE DEVIL'S DYKE AND HURSTPIERPOINT CHAPTER XXI DITCHLING CHAPTER XXII CUCKFIELD CHAPTER XXIII FOREST COUNTRY AGAIN CHAPTER XXIV EAST GRINSTEAD CHAPTER XXV HORSTED KEYNES TO LEWES CHAPTER XXVI LEWES CHAPTER XXVII THE OUSE VALLEY CHAPTER XXVIII ALFRISTON CHAPTER XXIX SMUGGLING CHAPTER XXX GLYNDE AND RINGMER CHAPTER XXXI UCKFIELD AND BUXTED CHAPTER XXXII CROWBOROUGH AND MAYFIELD CHAPTER XXXIII HEATHFIELD AND THE "LIES" CHAPTER XXXIV EASTBOURNE CHAPTER XXXV PEVENSEY AND HURSTMONCEUX CHAPTER XXXVI HASTINGS CHAPTER XXXVII BATTLE ABBEY CHAPTER XXXVIII WINCHELSEA AND RYE CHAPTER XXXIX ROBERTSBRIDGE CHAPTER XL TUNBRIDGE WELLS CHAPTER XLI THE SUSSEX DIALECT CHAPTER XLII BEING A POSTSCRIPT TO THE SECOND EDITION INDEX ADVERTISEMENTS

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
THE BARBICAN, LEWES CASTLE COWDRAY BLACKDOWN COWDRAY CHICHESTER CATHEDRAL CHICHESTER CROSS THE RUINED NAVE OF BOXGROVE BOXGROVE PRIORY CHURCH BOXGROVE FROM THE SOUTH EAST LAVANT BOSHAM ARUNDEL THE ARUN AT NORTH STOKE GATEWAY, AMBERLEY CASTLE AMBERLEY CASTLE AMBERLEY CASTLE, ENTRANCE TO CHURCHYARD AMBERLEY CHURCH PULBOROUGH CHURCH AT PULBOROUGH STOPHAM BRIDGE THE ROTHER AT FITTLEWORTH ALMSHOUSE AT PETWORTH PETWORTH CHURCHYARD THE CAUSEWAY, HORSHAM COTTAGES AT SLINFOLD RUDGWICK CHURCH STREET, STEYNING STEYNING CHURCH BRAMBER COOMBES CHURCH CHANCTONBURY RING SOMPTING LANCING NEW SHOREHAM CHURCH OLD SHOREHAM BRIDGE OLD SHOREHAM CHURCH POYNINGS, FROM THE DEVIL'S DYKE HANGLETON HOUSE MALTHOUSE FARM, HURSTPIERPOINT DITCHLING OLD HOUSE AT DITCHLING CUCKFIELD CHURCH EAST MASCALLS—BEFORE RENOVATION THE JUDGE'S HOUSES, EAST GRINSTEAD ON THE OUSE, ABOVE LEWES HIGH STREET, SOUTHOVER ANN OF CLEVES' HOUSE, SOUTHOVER ST. ANN'S CHURCH, SOUTHOVER THE OUSE AT SOUTH STREET, LEWES THE OUSE AT PIDDINGHOE RODMELL PIDDINGHOE SOUTHOVER GRANGE NEAR TARRING NEVILLE GLYNDE FRAMFIELD IN BUXTED PARK BEACHY HEAD BEACHY HEAD FROM THE SHORE PEVENSEY CASTLE WESTHAM HURSTMONCEUX CASTLE BATTLE ABBEY—THE GATEWAY MOUNT STREET, BATTLE BATTLE ABBEY, THE REFECTORY THE LANDGATE, RYE SEDILIA AND TOMBS OF GERVASE AND STEPHEN ALARD, WINCHELSEA THE YPRES TOWER, RYE COURT LODGE, UDIMORE UDIMORE CHURCH BREDE PLACE BREDE PLACE, FROM THE SOUTH BODIAM CASTLE SHOYSWELL, NEAR TICEHURST THE PANTILES, TUNBRIDGE WELLS BAYHAM ABBEY ASHDOWN FOREST, FROM EAST GRINSTEAD MAP OF THE COUNTY OF SUSSEX

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HIGHWAYS AND BYWAYS IN SUSSEX

 

CHAPTER I MIDHURST

The fitting order of a traveller's progress—The Downs the true Sussex—Fashion at bay—Mr. Kipling's topographical creed—Midhurst's advantages—Single railway lines—Queen Elizabeth at Cowdray—Montagus domestic and homicidal—The curse of Cowdray—Dr. Johnson at Midhurst—Cowdray Park.

If it is better, in exploring a county, to begin with its least interesting districts and to end with the best, I have made a mistake in the order of this book: I should rather have begun with the comparatively dull hot inland hilly region of the north-east, and have left it at the cool chalk Downs of the Hampshire border. But if one's first impression of new country cannot be too favourable we have done rightly in starting at Midhurst, even at the risk of a loss of enthusiasm in the concluding chapters. For although historically, socially, and architecturally north Sussex is as interesting as south Sussex, the crown of the county's scenery is the Downs, and its most fascinating districts are those which the Downs dominate. The farther we travel from the Downs and the sea the less unique are our surroundings. Many of the villages in the northern Weald, beautiful as they are, might equally well be in Kent or Surrey: a visitor suddenly alighting in their midst, say from a balloon, would be puzzled to name the county he was in; but the Downs and their dependencies are essential Sussex. Hence a Sussex man in love with the Downs becomes less happy at every step northward.

THE INVIOLATE HILLS

One cause of the unique character of the Sussex Downs is their virginal security, their unassailable independence. They stand, a silent undiscovered country, between the seething pleasure towns of the seaboard plain and the trim estates of the Weald. Londoners, for whom Sussex has a special attraction by reason of its proximity (Brighton's beach is the nearest to the capital in point of time), either pause north of the Downs, or rush through them in trains, on bicycles, or in carriages, to the sea. Houses there are among the Downs, it is true, but they are old-established, the homes of families that can remember no other homes. There is as yet no fashion

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