Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

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

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CHAPTER XXXII
CROWBOROUGH AND MAYFIELD
Crowborough the surburban—Rotherfield's three rivers—The extra ribs— Wild flowers and railway companies—The perfect hill—An arid district— St. Dunstan and the Devil—Why Tunbridge Wells waters are chalybeate — St. Dunstan's feats—An unencouraging memento mori—Mayfield church— Mayfield street—The diary of Mr. Walter Gale, schoolmaster.
In the spring of this year (1903) the walls and fences of Crowborough were covered with the placards of a firm of estate agents describing the neighbourhood (in the manner of the great George Robins) as "Scotland in Sussex." The simile may be true of the Ashdown Forest side of the Beacon (although involving an unnecessary confusion of terms), but " Hampstead in Sussex " would be a more accurate description of Crowborough proper. Never was a fine remote hill so be-villa'd. The east slope is all scaffold-poles and heaps of bricks, new churches and chapels are sprouting, and the many hoardings announce that Follies, Pierrots, or conjurors are con­tinually imminent. Crowborough itself has shops that would not disgrace Croydon, and a hotel where a Lord Mayor might feel at home. Houses in their own grounds are commoner than cottages, and near the summit the pegs of surveyors and the name-boards of avenues yet to be built testify to the charms which our Saxon Caledonia has already exerted.
But to say this is not to say all. Crowborough may be populous and over-built; but it is still a glorious eminence, the healthiest and most bracing inland village in the county, and
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