Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

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

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With what delight I placed those twigs
Beneath thy maiden sod. And then an almost hopeless wish
Would creep within my breast, Oh ! could I live to see thy top
In all its beauty dress'd. That time's arrived ; I've had my wish,
And lived to eighty-five ; I'll thank my God who gave such grace
As long as e'er I live. Still when the morning Sun in Spring,
Whilst I enjoy my sight, Shall gild thy new-clothed Beech and sides,
I'll view thee with delight.
Most of the trees on the side of Chanctonbury and its neighbours were self-sown, children of the clumps which Mr. Goring planted. I might add that Mr. Charles Goring was born in 1743, and his son, the present Rev. John Goring, in 1823, when his father was eighty; so that the two lives cover a period of one hundred and sixty years—true Sussex longevity.
Wiston House (pronounced Wisson) is a grey Tudor building in the midst of a wide park, immediately under the hill. The lofty hall, dating from Elizabeth's reign, is as it was; much of the remainder of the house was restored in the last century. The park has deer and a lake. The Goring family acquired Wiston by marriage with the Faggs, and a superb portrait of Sir John Fagg, in the manner of Vandyck with a fine flavour of Velasquez, is one of the treasures of the house.
Before the Faggs came the Shirleys, a family chiefly famous for the three wonderful brothers, Anthony, Robert, and Thomas.
Fuller, in the Worthies, gives them full space indeed con­sidering that none was interested in the Church. I cannot do better than quote him:—"SIR ANTHONY SHIRLEY, second Son to Sir Thomas, set forth from Plimouth, May the 21 st, 1596, in a Ship called the Levis of Southampton, at­tended with six lesser vessels. His design for Saint Thome was violently diverted by the contagion they found on the
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