Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

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

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The Crowborough district—Isfield—Another model wife—Framfield— The poet Realf—Uckfield—The Maresfield rocks—Puritan names in Sussex—Buxted park—Heron's Ghyll—A perfect church.
Uckfield, on the line from Lewes to Tunbridge Wells, is our true starting point for the high sandy and rocky district of Crowborough, Rotherfield and May field; but we must visit on the way Isfield, a very pretty village on the Ouse and its Iron River tributary. Isfield is remarkable for the remains of Isfield Place, once the home of the Shurleys (connected only by marriage with the Shirleys of Wiston). The house can never have been so fine as Slaugham Place, but it is evident that abundance also reigned here, as there. Over the main door was the motto " Non minor est virtus quam querere parta tueri," which Horsfield whimsically translates l< Catch is a good dog, but Hold­fast is a better." In the Shurley chapel, one of the sweetest spots in Sussex, are brasses and monuments to the family, notably the canopied altar tomb to Sir John Shurley, who died in 1631, his two wives (Jane Shirley of Wiston and Dorothy Bowyer, nee Goring, of Cuckfield) and nine children, who kneel prettily in a row at the foot. Of these children it is said in the inscription that some " were called into Heaven and the others into several marriages of good quality"; while of Dorothy Shurley it is prettily recorded (this, as we have seen, being a district rich in exemplary wives) that she had " a merite beyond most of her time, . . . her pitty was the clothing of the poore . . , and all
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