SEAWARD SUSSEX - online book

A Description of Travels in Sussex During the early 1900s

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in the kitchen. Iford Church is a Norman building with a central tower and an Early English font.
A little over a mile farther is Rodmell with very fine Norman details in the church, which has the rare feature of a baptistery. The early Decorated screen is good; note also the squint with a shaft in the centre. Here is a brass dated 1433 in memory of Agatha Broke, on the back of which is another inscription to some one else of the seventeenth century. The church is surrounded by magnificent trees, and of especial note is the huge holm oak which overshadows the rest. The village inn has on its walls a quaint and amusing collection of precepts for its habitués which might well be duplicated elsewhere. Southease, the next village, has another of the three round towers of Sussex, and Piddinghoe, two miles farther, the third. These towers are a matter of puzzled conjecture to archaeologists; all three, Lewes, Southease and Piddinghoe are on the western bank of the Ouse. The suggestion that they were originally beacon towers is not very convincing, though the Ouse at the time they were built was a wider and deeper stream, forming in fact an estuary haven. The more prosaic explanation is that lack of stone for the quoins, which every square flint tower must have, led the builders to adopt this form. In any case, a beacon fire from a square tower is as effectual as from a round one. Piddinghoe has many associations with the smuggling days which have given birth to some quaint sayings, as "Pidd'nhoo they dig for moonshine,"—"At Pidd'nhoo they dig for smoke," etc., but we fail to see the point in "Magpies are shod at Pidd'nhoo."
Seven miles from Lewes stands the rather mean port of Newhaven. After many years of neglect and decay this Elizabethan sea-gate is once more of great importance in continental traffic. Much money and skill were expended
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