Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

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

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xxxi                               THE UCKFIELD ROCKS
He was a-weary, but he fought his fight,
And stood for simple manhood ; and was joyed
To see the august broadening of the light
And new earths heaving heavenward from the void.
He loved his fellows, and their love was sweetó
Plant daisies at his head and at his feet.
Uckfield's main street is divided sharply into two periodsó from the station to the road leading to the church all is new ; beyond, all is old. The town is not interesting in itself, but it commands good country, and has a good inn, the Maiden's Head. It is also a good specimen of the quieter market-town of the pastówith a brewery (hiding behind a wonderful tree braced with kindly iron bands), a water mill (down by the rail≠way), and several solid comfortable houses for the doctor and the lawyer and the brewer and the parson, with ample gardens behind them.
Uckfield was once the home of Jeremiah Markland, the great classic, who acted as tutor here to Edward Clarke, son of the famous William Clarke, rector of Buxted, and father of Edward Daniel Clarke, the traveller. It is agreeable to remember that Fanny Burney passed through the town with Mrs. Thrale in 1779, although she found nothing to interest her.
Uckfield is the southern boundary of the rock district of which we saw something at West Hoathly, and it is famous for the sandstone cliffs in the grounds of High Rocks, an estate on the south of the town. The unthinking untidiness and active penknives of the holiday makers made it recently necessary for the grounds to be closed to strangers. Close by, however, just off the road from Uckfield to Maresfield, is a rocky tract that is free to all. It consists of about an acre of grey, sandy boulders, some rising to a height of twenty feet or so, which remind one a little of the rochers in the Forest of Fontainebleau, although on a smaller scale. All are worn with the feet of adventurous boys enjoying one of the best natural playgrounds in the county. Here blackberries come to rich
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