Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

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

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dean is famous not only for its false association with Charles the Second but as the burial place of Thomas Pelling, an old-time Vicar, " the first person who introduced Mangul Wurzel into England."
Rottingdean to-day must be very much of the size of Brighton two centuries ago, before fashion came upon it; but the little village is hardly likely ever to creep over its surrounding hills in the same way. The past few years, however, have seen its growth from an obscure and inaccessible settlement to a shrine. It is only of quite recent date that a glimpse of Rottingdean has become almost as necessary to the Brighton visitor as the journey to the Dyke. Had the Legend of the Briar Rose never been painted; had Mulvaney, Ortheris and Learoyd remained unchronicled and the British soldier escaped the label " Absent-minded Beggar," Rottingdean might still be invaded only occasionally; for it was when, following Sir Edward Burne-Jones, Mr. Rudyard Kipling found the little white village good to make a home in, that its public life began. Although Mr. Kipling has now gone farther into the depths of the county, and the great draughtsman, some of whose stained glass designs are in the church, is no more, the habit of riding to Rottingdean is likely, however, to persist in Brighton. The village is quaint and simple (particularly so after the last 'bus is stabled), but it is valuable rather as the key to some of the finest solitudes of the Downs, in the great uninhabited hill district between the Race Course at Brighton and Newhaven, between Lewes and the sea, than for any merits of its own. One other claim has it, however, on the notice of the pilgrim : William Black lies in the churchyard.
Mr. Kipling, as I have said, has now removed his house­hold gods farther inland, to Burwash, but his heart and mind must be still among the Downs. The Burwash country, good as it is, can (I think) never inspire him to such verse as he wrote in The Five Nations on the turf hills about his old home; —
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