Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

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

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vin                   "CLIMPING FOR PERFECTION"                      77
built by the Prioress of Leominster, before the Conquest: to Roger de Montgomerie was the manor given by the Conqueror, as part of the earldom of Arundel and Chichester, together with Atherington manor, much of which is now, like Selsey' s park, under the Channel. De Montgomerie gave Climping manor to the nuns of Almanesches, by whom the present Norman fortress-tower (with walls 4J feet thick) was added, and in 1253 John de Climping, the vicar, rebuilt the remainder. The church is thus six and a half centuries old, and parts of it are older. " Bosham, for antiquity ; Boxgrove, for beauty ; and Climping, for perfection " is the dictum of an antiquary quoted by the present vicar in a little pamphlet-history of his parish. As regards the Norman doorway, at any rate, he is right: there is nothing in Sussex to excel that; while in general architectural attraction the building is of the richest. It is also a curiously homely and ingratiating church.
One of the new windows, representing St. Paul, has a peculiar interest, as the vicar tells us:—" St. Paul was a prisoner at Rome shortly after Caractacus, the British Chief, whose daughter, Claudia, married Pudens, both friends of the Apostle (2 Tim. iv. 21). Pudens afterwards commanded the Roman soldiers stationed at Regnum (Chichester), and if St. Paul came to Britain, at Claudia's request (as ancient writers testify), he certainly would visit Sussex. How close this brings us here in Sussex to the Bible story !"
At Baylies Court, now a farmhouse, the Benedictine monks of Seez, also proteges of Robert de Montgomerie, had their chapel, remains of which are still to be seen.
Climping, which otherwise lives its own life, is the resort of golfers (who to the vicar's regret play all Sunday and turn Easter Day into " a Heathen Festival") and of the sportsmen of the Sussex Coursing Club, who find that the terrified Climp­ing hare gives satisfaction beyond most in the county.
Of Ford, north of Climping, there is nothing to say, except that popular rumour has it that its minute and uninteresting
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