SEAWARD SUSSEX - online book

A Description of Travels in Sussex During the early 1900s

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Edward III and John of Gaunt, and after being besieged by Stephen against Matilda, by the Barons against Henry III, and by Richard II against Bolingbroke it fell on evil times and was actually sold for forty pounds by the Parliamentary commissioners as building material. The keep is in ruins and the chapel can only be traced in the grassy floor; here may still be seen the old font covered by an iron frame, and the opening of the castle well, in which, as related by Hare, skulls of the wolves which once roamed the great forest have been found.
In connexion with the Norman occupation of Sussex the curious and arbitrary system of "Rapes" by which the county is divided should be noticed. These six blocks of land have no apparent relation to the natural features of the country; each contains a powerful castle to overawe the division to which it belongs. The whole plan is eloquent of the method by which the Norman ruled the conquered race and kept them in subjection.
Pevensey shore is very trying for the pedestrian. The great expanse of shingle is of that drifting variety which makes walking almost an impossibility.
Pevensey church is to the east of the castle; the interior is graceful and it has some interesting details. Note the case of local curiosities, title deeds, etc. Westham, that part of the village nearest the station, was the overflow settlement from the walled town; this has a much finer church with Norman remains dating from the Conqueror's time, and the tower is noble in its massive proportions. Visitors should purchase the interesting little booklet shown on the table within the porch. The church has a fine oak screen in the south chancel and a stone altar with five crosses in the north aisle. Not far away is a large farmhouse known as "Priest-house"; this was once a monastic establishment.
Close to Westham is Pevensey Station, from which the traveller can proceed to Hastings, Rye and Winchelsea; this beautiful and interesting district of Sussex is dealt with in Mr. Bradley's An Old Gate of England, and we must
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