BYGONE SUSSEX - online book

Essays, Sketches and Illustrations of bygone Sussex

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IN DENIS DUVAL'S COUNTRY                39
the hill on which it stands was in those days washed by the waves. The sea has since receded and left Winchelsea literally stranded. But the great Edward saw the capacities of the place, and planned here a strong town with walls, gates, churches, monasteries, and all the other belongings of a prosperous mediaeval community. The late Mr. E. A. Freeman was much struck by the appearance of Winchelsea, which he declared to be "from the point of view of municipal and parliamentary antiquary one of the most interesting places in England." It differs from a ruined town, and is the City that Never Was. " It is most striking," says Freeman, "to see the preparations which were made for what was to be, the walls which fence in nothing, the gates which lead to nothing, the large and splendid church began but never finished, the streets laid out in regular order according to the plan always followed in the foundations of the great King, but streets which have never yet grown into the form of houses. The one thing which was finished, the Friars' Church, is now a ruin. A country house with its usual appendages stands within the walls of the town, and all that has come of the great borough which was designed is a small
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