Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

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

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exception of one symmetrical hillock just out of the town). Among them curls the lazy Ouse ; just beneath you Lewes sleeps, red-roofed as an Italian town, sending up no hum of activity, listless and immovable save for a few spirals of silent smoke. The surrounding hills are very fine: Firle Beacon in the far east; Mount Caburn, a noble cone, in the near east; Mount Harry to the west, on whose slopes Henry III., assisted by the fiery Prince Edward, fought the Barons. So fiery, indeed, was this lad that he forgot all about his father, and gave chase to a small detachment of the enemy, catching them up, and hewing them down with the keenest enjoyment, while the unhappy Henry was being completely worsted by de Montfort. It was a bloody battle, made up, as old Fabian wrote, of embittered men, with hearts full of hatred, "eyther desyrous to bring the other out of lyfe." Great fun was made by the humorists of the time, after the battle, over the fact that Richard, King of the Romans, Henry's brother, was captured in a windmill in which he had taken refuge. This mill stood near the site of the Black Horse inn. In The Barons' Wars, by Mr. Blaauw, the Sussex anti­quary, the whole story is told.
Lewes has played but a small part in history since that battle ; but, as we saw when we were at Rottingdean, it was one of her Cluniac priors that repulsed the French in 1377, and her son, Sir Nicholas Pelham, who performed a similar service in 1545, at Seaford. As the verses on his monument in St. Michael's Church run :—
What time the French sought to have sackt Sea-Foord, This Pelham did repel-em back aboord.
The Cluniac priory of St. Pancras was dissolved by Henry VIII. in 1537, Thomas Cromwell, that execrable vandal, not only abolishing the monks but destroying the buildings, which covered, with their gardens and fish ponds, forty acres. The ruins that remain give some idea of the
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