Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

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

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High Street, which is busier, is the George Inn, the rare posses­sor of a large assembly room with a musicians' gallery. One only of Rye's gates is standing—the Landgate; but on the south rampart of the town is the Ypres Tower (called Wipers by the prosaic inhabitants), a relic of the twelfth century, guarding Rye once from perils by sea and now from perils by land. Standing by the tower one may hear below shipbuilders busy at work and observe all the low-pulsed life of the river. A mile or so away is Rye Harbour, and beyond it the sea; across the intervening space runs a little train with its freight of golf players. In the east stretches Romney Marsh to the hills of Folkestone.
Extremes meet in Rye. When I was last there the passage of the Landgate was made perilous by an approaching Panhard; the monastery of the Augustine friars on Conduit Hill had become a Salvation Army barracks ; and in the doorway of the little fourteenth-century chapel of the Carmelites, now a private house, in the church square, a perambulator waited. Moreover, in the stately red house at the head of Mermaid Street the author of The Awkward Age prosecutes his fascinating analyses of twentieth-century temperaments.
Among the industries of Rye is the production of an ingenious variety of pottery achieved by affixing to ordinary vessels of earthenware a veneer of broken pieces of china—usually fragments of cups and saucers—in definite patterns that some­times reach a magnificence almost Persian. For the most part the result is not perhaps beautiful, but it is always gay, and the Rye potter who practises the art deserves encouragement. I saw last summer a piece of similar ware in a cottage on the banks of the Ettrick, but whether it had travelled thither from Rye, or whether Scotch artists work in the same medium, I do not know. Mr. Gasson, the artificer (the dominating name of Gasson is to Rye what that of Seiler is to Zermatt), charges a penny for the inspection of the four rooms of his house in which his pottery, his stuffed birds and other curiosities are
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