History Of Brighton And Environs - Online Book

From The Earliest Known Period To The Present Time.

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203
TOWNS AND VILLAGES OF INTEREST IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD OF BRIGHTON.
(CLOSING CHAPTEE.)
In concluding this work we have thought it not out of place to devote a chapter to towns and villages witliin twelve miles of Brighton, and we trust our brief historical account of them will interest our readers,—the first claiming our notice is the ancient town of
LEWES.
Large, populous, of great antiquity, situated about fifty miles from the metropolis, and eight from Brighton. Here is its etymology:—"Lewes has been thought to come from the French Les eaux, the waters; and the latest invention of a meaning for it is Ljod hus — pro­nounced lodge hus—a landing place: and it is argued therefrom that Lewes was once a seaport, and was settled by Norsemen, as it is a Norse name. Lewes is, however, nothing whatsoever of the kind; it is a pure Celtic name, still pronounced exactly right, and as it must have been two thousand years ago. It is Lie wysg: the river place, or place on the wysg, or uisge, —that is, the Ouse, as the river is still called. There is the fellow-name to Lewes in Wales. A little distance above Hay, in Badnorshire, is Lowes, on the River Wye; Wye is short for Wysg. Uisge, or Wysg, forms part of many of the names of places on the Ouse: Ashcombe is the combe of the stream, or uisge ; Isfield, is Uisge, and the Anglo-Saxon field, or Celtic faes, meaning the same thing. Uckfield is the same. Buxted is Ben ux, or uisge: the place on the river; stead is the Anglo-Saxon for a place.
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