A VISIT TO LEWES 177
convent here was anciently a palace of the Archbishops of Canterbury, and is associated in legend with the famous tale of St. Dunstan and the Devil. A sign by Mr. Geoffrey Webb for this village was placed second in the recent Village Signs Competition. The name May field is derived from O. E. Maeg, a maid, and means the Maid's Field. Both sides of the sign represent the maid in a field powdered with spring flowers, including the spiked rampion (found only in Mayfield and the adjoining parish and nowhere else in the British Isles) under a bower of twisted white thorn or may. She is crowned and wreathed with flowers by two children. The east face of the sign shows the maid crowning a third child with a daisy-chain ; on the west face she holds a wreath with tablet explaining the name of the place.
The first mortar made in this country of which we have any knowledge was that made at Eridge Green ; it consisted of small bars of wrought-iron, bound together by hoops, and with a polygonal chamber in one solid piece. From 1543 the manufacture of heavy ordnance increased, and an export trade sprang up, until the licence granted by the Lord High Admiral in 1572 was revoked in the autumn of the same year. In spite of this,
however, the surreptitious exportation of cannon