SEAWARD SUSSEX - online book

A Description of Travels in Sussex During the early 1900s

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apart from the added interest of ancient church or picturesque farm and manor, are ample recompense for the small toil involved in their exploration.
The origin of Lewes goes back to unknown times, the very meaning of the name is lost, its situation in a pass and on the banks of the only navigable river in East Sussex inevitably made it a place of some importance. It is known that Athelstan had two mints here and that the Norman Castle was only a rebuilding by William de Warenne on the site of a far older stronghold. To this de Warenne, the Conqueror, with his usual liberality, presented the town, and it is from the ruins of his castle that we should commence our exploration.
Of de Warenne's building only the inner gateway remains. The outer gate and the keep date from the reign of the first Edward; the site of a second keep is shown in private grounds not far off, a feature very rare in this country if not unique.
The summit of the tower is laid out as an old world garden; and here is also the interesting museum of the Sussex Archaeological Society, but the visitor will be best repaid by the magnificent view of the surrounding country spread out before him. To the north-west rises Mount Harry, and to the right of this stretches the wide expanse of the Weald bounded by the sombre ridges of Ashdown Forest, dominated by Crowborough Beacon slightly east of due north.
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