Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

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

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XL
THE SPLENDID SACKVILLES
397
six inches in height, with seven gates. The Lamberhurst cannon not only served England, but some, it is whispered, found their way to French privateers and were turned against their native land.
Sweetest of spots in the neighbourhood of Tunbridge Wells is Withyham, in the west, lying to the north of Ashdown Forest, a small and retired village, with a charming church, a good inn (the Dorset Arms), Duckings, a superb piece of old Sussex architecture, Old Buckhurst, an interesting ruin, new Buckhurst's magnificent park, and some of the best country in the county. Once the South Down district is left behind I think that Withyham is the jewel of Sussex. Moreover, the proximity of the wide high spaces of Ashdown Forest seems to have cleared the air; no longer is one conscious of the fatigue that appertains to the triangular hill district between Tunbridge Wells, Robertsbridge and Uckfield.
Withyham is notable historically for its association with the great and sumptuous Sackville family, which has held Buckhurst since Henry II., and of which the principal figure is Thomas Sackville, Lord Buckhurst, first Earl of Dorset, who was born here in 1536, Queen Elizabeth's Lord Treasurer and part author of Gorboduc. After him came Robert Sackville, second earl, who founded Sackville College at East Grinstead ; and then Richard, the third earl, famous for the luxury in which he lived at Knole in Kent and Dorset House in London. Among this nobleman's retinue was a first footman rejoicing (I hope) in the superlatively suitable name of Acton Curvette : a name to write a comedy around- Richard Sackville, the fifth earl, was a more domestic peer, of whom we have some intimate and amusing glimpses in the memorandum books and diaries which he kept at Knole. Thus :
" Hy. Mattock for scolding to extremity on Sunday 12th October 1661 without cause » » , ♦ 003
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