Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

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

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36
SPERSHOTT'S RECOLLECTIONS
CHAP.
the highest power. Surely the best of places in which to edit Horace afresh or find new meanings in St. Augustine.
There is a tendency for the cathedral to absorb all the atten­tion of the traveller, but Chichester has other beauties, including the Market Cross, which is a mere child of stone, dating only from the reign of. Henry VIII.; St. Mary's Hospital in North Street; and the remains of the monastery of the Grey Friars in the Priory Park. Young Chichester now plays cricket where of old the monks caught fish and per­formed their duties. It was probably on the mound that their Calvary stood; the last time I climbed it was to watch Bonnor, the Australian giant, practising in the nets below, too many years ago.
Like all cathedral towns Chichester has beautiful gardens, as one may see from the campanile. There are no lawns like the lawns of Bishops, Deans, and Colleges ; and few flower beds more luxuriantly stocked. Chichester also has a number of grave, solid houses, such as Miss Austen's characters might have lived in; at least one superb specimen of the art of Sir Christopher Wren, a masterpiece of substantial red brick; and a noble inn, the Dolphin, where one dines in the Assembly room, a relic of the good times before inns became hotels.
We have some glimpses of old Chichester in the remini­scences (about 1720-1730) of James Spershott, a Chichester Baptist Elder, who died in 1789, aged eighty. I quote a passage here and there from his paper of recollections printed in the Sussex Archaeological Collections :—
" Spinning of Household Linnen was in use in most Families, also making their own Bread, and likewise their own Household Physick. No Tea, but much Industrey and good Cheer. The Bacon racks were loaded with Bacon, for little Porke was made in these times. The farmers' Wifes and Daughters were plain in Dress, and made no such gay figures in our Market as nowadays. At Christmas, the whole Con­stellation of Pattypans which adorn'd their Chimney fronts
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