Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

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

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for carts, which runs nearer the sails than any track I remember ever to have dared to walk on. Standing by this mill one opens many miles of Kent and Surrey : due north the range of chalk Downs on which is the Pilgrim's Way, between Merstham and Westerham, and in front of that Toy's Hill and Ide Hill and their sandy companions, on the north edge of the Weald.
Mayfield is a city on a hill on the skirts of the hot hop district of which Burwash is the Sussex centre. To walk about it even in April is no exhilaration ; but in August one thinks of Sahara. I lived in Mayfield one August and could barely keep awake ; and we used to look across at the rolling chalk Downs in the south, between Ditchling and Lewres, and long for their cool, wrind-swept heights. They can be hot too, but chalk is never so hot as sand, and a steady climb to a summit, over turf odorous of wild thyme, is restful beside the eternal hills and valleys of the hop district.
Mayfield has the best street and the best architecture of any of these highland villages. Also it has the distinction of having done most for mankind, since without Mayfield there would have been no water to cure jaded London ladies and gentlemen at Tunbridge Wells. According to Eadmer, who wrote one of the lives of Dunstan, that Saint, when Archbishop of Canter­bury, built a wooden church at Mayfield and lived in a cell hard by. St. Dunstan, who was an expert goldsmith, was one day making a chalice (or, as another version of the legend says, a horseshoe) when the Devil appeared before him. Instantly recognising his enemy, and being aware that with such a foe prompt measures alone are useful, St. Dunstan at once pulled his nose with the tongs, which chanced happily to be red hot. Wrenching himself free, the Devil leaped at one bound from Mayfield to Tunbridge Wells, where, plunging his nose into the spring at the foot of the Pantiles, he " imparted to the water its chalybeate qualities," and thus made the fortune of the town as a health resort. To St. Dunstan therefore, indirectly, are all drinkers of these wells indebted. For other
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