BYGONE SUSSEX - online book

Essays, Sketches and Illustrations of bygone Sussex

Home | Order | Support | About | Contact | Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

156                                BYGONE SUSSEX.
Fower stately wood Nymphs stand on the Sussexian ground, Great Andredsweld's * sometime who, when she did abound, In circuit and id growth, all others quite supprest: But in her wane of pride, as she in strength decreast, Her Nymphs assum'd them names each one to her delight. As, Water-downe, so call'd of her depressed site: And Ash Downe, of those Trees that most in her do growe, Set higher to the Downes, as th'other standeth lowe. Saint Leonards, of the seat by which she next is plac't, And Whord that with the like delighteth to be grac't. These Forrests as I say, the daughters of the Weald (That in their heavie breasts, had long their greefs conceal'd) Foreseeing their decay each howre so fast came on, Under the axes stroak, fetcht many a grievous grone, When as the anviles weight, and hammers dreadfull sound, Even rent the hollow Woods and shook the queachy ground.
* All that Maritime Tract comprehending Sussex, and part of Kent (so much as was not Mountains, now call'd the Downs, (a) which in British, old Gaulish, Low Dutch, and our English signifies but Hills), being all woody, was call'd Andredsweald. (b) i. Andredswood, often mentioned in our stories, and Newenden in Kent by it Andredcester (as most learned Camden upon good reason guesses), whence perhaps the Wood had his name. To this day we call those woody Lands, by North the Downes, the Weald : and, the Channell of the Riuer that comes out of those parts, and discontinues the Downs about Bramber, is yet known in Shorham Ferry, by the name of Weald-dich ; and in another Saxon word equiualent to it, are many of the Parishes Terminations on this side the Downs, that is, Herst, or Hurst, i. A wood. It is call'd by Ethelwerd(c) expresly(d) Inimanis sylua, que vulgos Andredsuuda nuncupatur, and was(e) CXX. miles long, and XXX. broad. The Authors conceit of these Forrests being Nymphs of this Great Andredsuuda, and their complaint for loss of Woods, in Sussex, so decai'd, is plain enough to euery Reader.
(a)  Dunum vti ex Clitophonte apud Plut. habet Cad. and Duynen Belgis, dicuntur. Tumuli Aenarij Oceano obiecti. Gorop. Gallic. I. Alij.
(b)  We yet call a Desert, a wildernesse from this roote.
(c)  Lib. 4, Cap. 3.
(d)  Wood, call'd Andredswood.
(e)  Henric. Huntingdon, hist. 5, in Alfredo.
Previous Contents Next