Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

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

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main line to Brighton, which passes through the very midst of this wild game region, and plunges into the earth under the high ground of Balcombe Forest. I know of no place where the trains emit such a volume of sound as in the valley of the Stanford brook, just north of the tunnel.
The noise makes it impossible ever quite to lose the sense of modernity in these woods, as one may on Shelley Plain, a few miles west, or at Gill's Lap, in Ashdown Forest; unless, of course, one's imagination is so complaisant as to believe it to proceed from the old iron furnaces. This reminds me that Crabbet, just to the north of Worth (where church and vicarage stand isolated on a sandy ridge on the edge of the Forest), was the home of one of the most considerable of the Sussex ironmasters, Leonard Gale of Tinsloe Forge, who bought Crabbet, park and house, in 1698—since "building," in his own words, is a " sweet impoverishing."
But we must pause for a moment at Worth, because its church is remarkable as being the largest in England to pre­serve its Saxon foundations. Sussex, as we have seen, is rich in Saxon relics, but the county has nothing more interesting than this. The church is cruciform, as all churches should be, and there is a little east window in the north transept through which, it is conjectured, arrows were intended to be shot at marauding Danes; for an Englishman's church was once his castle. Archaeologists familiar with Worth church have been known to pass with disdain cathedrals for which the ordinary person cannot find too many fine adjectives.
To regain Crabbet. The present owner, Mr. Wilfred Scawen Blunt, poet, patriot, and breeder of Arab horses, who is a descendant of the Gales, has a long poem entitled " Worth Forest," wherein old Leonard Gale is a notable figure. Among other poems by the lord of Crabbet is the very pleasantly English ballad of
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