Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

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

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XXXIX
A DANISH VESSEL
379
but there are certain points in which the couplet is sound. For example, although Brede Place has no counterpart in Northiam, and although beside Udimore's lovely name Northiam has an uninspired prosaic ring, yet Northiam is alone in the possession of Queen Elizabeth's Oak, the tree beneath which that monarch, whom we have seen on a progress in West Sussex, partook in 1573 of a banquet, on her way to Rye. The fare came from the kitchen of the timbered house hard by, then the residence of Master Bishopp. During the visit her Majesty changed her shoes, and the discarded pair is still treasured at Brickwall, the neighbouring seat of the Frewens, the great family of Northiam for many generations. The shoes are of green damask silk, with heels two and a half inches high and pointed toes. The Queen was apparently so well satisfied with her repast that on her return journey three days later she dined beneath the oak once more. But she changed no more shoes.
Brickwall, which is occasionally shown, is a noble old country mansion, partly Elizabethan and partly Stuart. In the church are many Frewen memorials, the principal of which are in the Frewen mausoleum, a comparatively new erection. Accepted Frewen, Archbishop of York, was from Northiam.
In a field near the Rother at Northiam was discovered, in the year 1822, a Danish vessel, which had probably sunk in the ninth century in some wide waterway now transformed to land or shrunk to the dimensions of the present stream. Her pre­servation was perfect. Horsfield thus describes the ship : " Her dimensions were, from head to stern, 65 feet, and her width 14 feet, with cabin and forecastle; and she appears to have originally had a whole deck. She was remarkably strongly built; her bill pieces and keels measuring 2 feet over, her cross beams, five in number, 18 inches by 8, with her other timbers in proportion ; and in her caulking was a species of moss peculiar to the country in which she was built. In the cabin and other parts of the vessel were found a human
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