Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

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

Home | Order | Support | About | Contact | Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

prisoned in the church tower before being taken for trial. Warbleton has the following terse and confident epitaph upon Ann North, wife of the vicar, who died in 1780 :—
Through death's rough waves her bark serenely trod, Her pilot Jesus, and her harbour God.
From Horeham Road station, next Heathfield on the way to Hailsham, we can walk across the country to East Hoathly, and thence to Chiddingly and Hellingly, where we come to the rail­way again. (" East Hoathly, Chiddingly and Hellingly," says a local witticism : " three lies and all true.") East Hoathly stands high in not very interesting country, nor is it now a very inter­esting village. But it is remarkable for an admirably conducted inn and a church unique (in my experience of old churches) in its interior for a prettiness that is little short of aggressive. Whatever paint and mosaic can do to remove plain white surfaces has been done here, and the windows are gay with new glass. Were the building a new one, say at Surbiton, the effect would be harmonious; but in an old village in Sussex it seems a mistake.
Colonel Thomas Lunsford, of Whyly (now no more), near East Hoathly, a cavalier and friend of Charles I., was notoriously a consumer of the flesh of babes. How be won such a reputation is not known, but it never left him. Hudibras mentions his tastes; in one ballad of the time he figures as Lunsford that "eateth of children," and in another, recording his supposed death, he is found with "a child's arm in his pocket." After a stormy but courageous career he died in 1691, innocent of cannibalism. It was this Lunsford who fired at his relative, Sir Nicholas Pelham of Halland, as he was one day entering East Hoathly church. The huge bullet, the outcome of a long feud, missed Nicholas and lodged in the church door, where it remained for many years. It cost Lunsford £8,000 and outlawry.
Halland, one of the seats of the Pelhams, about a mile from
Previous Contents Next