Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

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

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xlii                         BURPHAM AND HARDHAM                          423
the head of the lower loop of the B, and while there is plenty of water in the loop to row up with the flood tide and down with the ebb, the straight main stream diverts nearly all the holiday traffic and leaves Burpham the most peaceful village within fifty miles of London. The seclusion is the more com­plete because the roads from the South end in the village and there is no approach by road from East or West or North. The Church contains a Lepers' window, and passengers by the rail­way can see, to the right of the red roofs of the village and over the line of low chalk cliffs, a white path still called the Lepers' Path, which winds away in to the lonely hollows of the Downs.
" A curious feature of Burpham is a high rampart of earth, running eastward from the cliff by the river, which according to local tradition was constructed in the days of the Danish pirates. It is said to be doubtful whether the rampart was erected by the Saxon villagers for their own protection, or by the Danes as their first stronghold on the rising ground after they had sailed up the Arun from Littlehampton. The fine name of the neighbouring Warningcamp Hill, from which there is a great outlook over the flat country past Arundel Castle to Chichester Cathedral and the cliffs of the Isle of Wight, suggests memories of the same period."
Of the little retiring church of St. Botolph, Hardham, lying among low meadows between Burpham and Pulborough, I ought also to have spoken, for it contains perhaps the earliest complete series of mural painting in England. The church dates from the eleventh century, and the paintings, says Mr. Philip Mainwaring Johnson, who has studied them with the greatest care, cannot be much less old. The subjects are the Annunciation, the Nativity, the appearance of the Star, the Magi presenting their Gifts, and so forth, with one or two less familiar themes added, such as Herod conferring with his Counsellors and the Torments of Hell. There are the remains %lso of a series of Moralities drawn from the parable of Dives
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