Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

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

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to those of Hampshire, comprises what was called the Forest of Andredsweald, now commonly called the Weald, was formerly full of strong holds and fastnesses, and was con­sequently well calculated for the retreat of the ancient Britons from before the regular armies of the Romans, as well as for the establishment of points of attack by the succeeding invaders who coped with them on terms somewhat reversed. The attack of the Saxons on Anderida was successful, and the consequence was their permanent establishment in Sussex and Surrey, from which time they probably retained a military station on this hill.
" There is likewise within the park a place called Danes Gate. This was doubtless a part of a military way; and as it would happen that the last successful invaders would occupy the same strong posts which had been formed by their pre­decessors, this Danes Gate was probably the military com­munication between Crowborough, undoubtedly a Danish station, and Saxonbury Hill."
The view from Saxonbury extends far in each quarter, embracing both lines of Downs, North and South. The long low irregular front of Eridge Castle is two or three miles to the north-west, with its lake before it.
Queen Elizabeth stayed at Eridge for six days in 1573, on her progress to Northiam, where we saw her dining and changing her shoes. Lord Burleigh, who accompanied her, found the country hereabouts dangerous, and " worse than in the Peak." It was another of the guests at Eridge that made Tunbridge Wells; for had not Dudley, Lord North, when recuperating there in 1606, discovered that the (Devil-flavoured) chalybeate water of the neighbourhood was beneficial, the spring would not have been enclosed nor would other of London's fatigued young bloods have drunk of it.
Enough remains of Bayham Abbey, five miles south-east of Tunbridge Wells, to show that it was once a very considerable monastery. The founder was Sir Robert de
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