Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

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

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(changing at Pulborough), or by road through Bury, Fittleworth, and Egdean.
Pulborough is now nothing: once it was a Gibraltar, guard­ing Stane Street for Rome. The fort was on a mound west of the railway, corresponding with the church mound on the east. Here probably was a catapulta and certainly a vigilant garrison. Pulborough has no invader now but the floods, which every winter transform the green waste at her feet into a silver sea, of which Pulborough is the northern shore and Amberley the southern. The Dutch polder are not flatter or greener than are these intervening meadows. The village stands high and dry above the water level, extended in long line quite like a seaside town. Excursionists come too, as to a watering place, but they bring rods and creels and return at night with fish for the pan.
Between Pulborough and Petworth lie Stopham and Fittle­worth, both on the Rother, which joins the Arun a little to the west of Pulborough. Stopham has the most beautiful bridge in Sussex, dating from the fourteenth century, and a little church filled with memorials of the Bartelott family. One of Stopham's rectors was Thomas Newcombe, a des­cendant of the author of The Faerie Queene, the friend of the author of Night Thoughts, and the author himself of a formid­able poem in twelve books, after Milton, called The Last Judgment.
Fittleworth has of late become an artists' Mecca, partly because of its pretty woods and quaint architecture, and partly because of the warm welcome that is offered by the " Swan," which is probably the most ingeniously placed inn in the world. Approaching it from the north it seems to be the end of all things; the miles of road that one has travelled apparently have been leading nowhere but to the " Swan." Runaway horses or unsettled chauffeurs must project their passengers literally into the open door. Coming from the south, one finds that the road narrows by this inn almost to a lane, and the " Swan's "
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