Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

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

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$6                                AMBERLEY AND PARHAM                          chap.
stronghold, but of a crenellated mansion. John Langton, Bishop of Chichester in the fourteenth century, was the first builder. Previously the Church lands here had been held very jealously, and in 1200 we find Bishop Gilbert de Leofard twice excommunicating, and as often absolving, the Earl of Arundel for poaching (as he termed it) in Houghton Forest. The Church lost Amberley in the sixteenth century. William Rede, who succeeded Langton to both house and see, wishing to feel secure in his home, craved permission to dig a moat around it and to render it both hostile and defensive. Hence its lion-like mien; but it has known no warfare, and the castle's mouldering walls now give what assistance they can in harbouring live stock. Twentieth-century sheds lean against fourteenth-century masonry; faggots are stored in the moat; lawn tennis is played in the courtyard; and black pigeons peep from the slits cut for arquebusiers.
Amberley Castle only once intrudes itself in history : Charles II., during his flight in 1651, spent a night there under the protection of Sir John Briscoe, as we saw in Chapter III.
In winter, if you ask an Amberley man where he dwells, he says, "Amberley, God help us." In summer he says, " Amberley—where would you live ? "
From Amberley to Parham one keeps upon the narrow ridge for a mile or so, branching off then to the left. Parham's advance guard is seen all the way—a clump of fir trees, indicating that the soil there changes to sand.
For two possessions is Parham noted : a heronry in the park, and in the house a copy of Montaigne with Shakespeare's autograph in it. The house, a spreading Tudor mansion, is the seat of Lord Zouche, a descendant of the traveller, Robert Curzon, who wrote The Monasteries of the Levant, that long, leisurely, and fascinating narrative of travel. In addition to Montaigne, it enshrines a priceless collection of armour, of incunabula and Eastern MSS. Among the pictures are full lengths of Sir Philip Sidney and Lady Sidney, and that
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