Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

An illustrated appreciation, of the most interesting districts in Sussex.

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ao                                 THE BEACON FIRES                          chap.
the hare. Squire Caryll, however, declined to be hard on the broomstick and its riders, as the following entry in the records of the Court Leet, held for the Hundred of Dumford in 1747, shows :—" Also we present the Honble. John Caryll, Esq., Lord of this Mannor, for not having and keeping a Ducking Stool within the said Hundred of Dumford according to law, for the ducking of scolds and other disorderly persons."
The road from South Harting to Elsted runs under the hills, which here rise abruptly from the fields, to great heights, notably Beacon Hill, like a huge green mammoth, 800 feet high,on which, before the days of telegraphy, lived the signaller, who passed on the tidings of danger on the coast to the next beacon hill, above Henley, and so on to London. In the days of Napoleon, when any moment might reveal the French fleet, the Sussex hill tops must often have smouldered under false alarms. The next hill in the east is Treyford Hill, above Treyford village, whose church tower, standing on a little hill of its own nearly three hundred feet high, might take a lesson in beauty from South Harting's, although its spire has a slenderness not to be improved. Next to Treyford Hill is Didling Hill, above Didling, and then Linch Down, highest of all in these parts, being 818 feet.
Elsted, which has no particular interest, possesses an inn, the Three Horse Shoes, on a site superior to that of many a nobleman's house. It stands high above a rocky lane, com­manding a superb sidelong view of the Downs and the Weald.
Midhurst's river is the Rother (not to be confounded with the Rother in the east of Sussex), which flows into the Arun near Hardham. It is wide enough at Midhurst for small boats, and is a very graceful stream on which to idle and watch the few kingfishers that man has spared. One may walk by its side for miles and hear no sound save the music of repose— the soft munching of the cows in the meadows, the chuckle of the water as a rat slips in, the sudden yet soothing plash caused by a jumping fish. Around one's head in the evening
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