Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

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

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fostering care. Architecturally it is of no great interest, although it was once unique in England by the possession of two keeps; nor has it romantic associations, like Kenilworth or even Caris-brooke. The crumbling masonry was assisted in its decay by no siege or bombardment; the castle has been never the scene of human struggle. Visitors, therefore, must take pleasure chiefly in the curiosities collected in the museum and in the views from the roof. A few little rooms hold the treasures amassed by the Archaeological Society; amassed, it may be said, with little difficulty, for the soil of the district is fertile in relics. From Ringmer come rusty shield bosses and the mouldering skull of an Anglo-Saxon \ from the old Lewes gaol come a lock and a key strong enough to hold Jack Sheppard ; and from Horsham Gaol a complete set of fetters for ankles and wrists, once used to cramp the movements of female male­factors. Here, in a case, is a tiny bronze thimble that tipped the pretty finger of a Roman seamstress—one only among scores of tokens of the Roman occupation of the county. Flint arrow heads and celts in profusion take us back to remoter times. A Pyecombe crook hangs on one wall, and relics of the Sussex ironworks are plentiful. The highest room contains rubbings of our best brasses. Outside is an early Sussex plough. In a corner is a beadle's staff that once struck terror into the hearts of Sabbath-breaking boys j and near one of the windows is a little brass crucifix from St. Pancras' Priory. But nothing, the custodian tells me, so pleases visitors to this very catholic collection as the mum­mied hand of a murderess.
Looking down and around from the roof of the keep, you are immediately struck by the wide shallow hollow in which Lewes lies. It is something the shape of a dairy basin, the gap to the north west, between Mailing Hill and Offham, serving for the lip. Nothing could be flatter than the smiling meadows, streaked with tiny streams, stretching between Lewes and the coast line to the south-east (with the
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