Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

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

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120
STANE STREET
CHAP.
Ye fieldsmen, look sharp, lest your pains ye beguile ; Move close, like an army, in rank and in file, When the ball is return'd, back it sure, for I trow Whole states have been ruin'd by one overthrow.
Ye strikers, observe when the foe .shall draw nigh, Mark the bowler advancing with vigilant eye : Your skill all depends upon distance and sight, Stand firm to your scratch, let your bat be upright.
Further west is Loxwood, on the edge of a little-known tract of country, untroubled by railways, the most unfamiliar village in which is perhaps Plaistow. Plaistow is on the road to no­where and has not its equal for quietude in England. It is a dependency of Kirdford, whence comes the Fetworth marble which we see in many Sussex churches. Shillinglee Park, the seat of the Earl of Winterton, is hard by.
From these remote parts one may return to Horsham by way of Warnham, on whose pond Shelley as a boy used to sail his little boat, and where perhaps he gained that love of navigation which never left him and brought about his death. Warnham, always a cricketing village, until lately supplied the Sussex eleven with dashing Lucases; but it does so no more.
Before passing to the east of Horsham, something ought to be said of one at least of the villages of the south-west, namely, Billingshurst, on Stane Street, once an important station between Regnum and Londinum, or Chichester and London, as we should now say. It has been conjectured that Stane Street (which we first saw at Chichester under the name of East Street, and again as it descended B ignor hill in the guise of a bostel) was constructed by Belinus, a Roman engineer, who gave to the woods through which he had to cut his way in this part of Sussex the name, Billingshurst, and to the gate by which London was entered, Billingsgate.
Billingshurst's place in literature was made by William Cobbett, for it was here that he met the boy in a smock frock
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