SEAWARD SUSSEX - online book

A Description of Travels in Sussex During the early 1900s

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during the latter half of the nineteenth century in improving the harbour and building a breakwater and new quays. Louis Philippe landed here in 1848, having left Havre in his flight from France in the steamer "Express"; he was received by William Catt, who at one time owned the tide mills at Bishopstone; this worthy was a well known Sussex character and is immortalized by Lower. Newhaven has little to show the visitor beyond the small Norman church which has a chancel apse at the east of the tower. This portion is interesting but the nave has suffered from ignorant tinkering under the alias of "restoration." In the churchyard is a monument to those who perished in the wreck of the "Brazen" sloop of war in 1800 off the harbour, and another to a local brewer of the one-time famous "Tipper" ale, made from brackish water. The town was once called Meeching; this name is perpetuated in "Meeching Place" where a descendant of William Catt still lives.
On the east of the Ouse is a much more interesting halt for the tourist in the small village of Bishopstone. The small remains of the tide mills just referred to are near the station. The very fine Norman church is about a mile away on the road to the Downs. The four storied tower is almost unique. Each stage diminishes in size, thus dispensing with buttresses; in this respect it is similar to Newhaven. Notice under the short spire a quaint corbel table. The south porch is extremely interesting as Saxon work though the mouldings are probably later enrichments by Norman workmen. Over the door is a stone dial with a cross and the name EADRIC. The interior is a good example of the change from round to pointed, the pure Norman of the east end gradually changing to Early English at the west. The combination of Norman ornament with the later style is almost unique in Sussex. In the vestry an interesting stone slab is shown; this was discovered during the restoration. It bears the carved presentment of a lamb, a cross, and two doves drinking. At this time a stone coffin lid, and a hidden fourteenth-century niche in the porch were also discovered. In the chancel is a memorial to James Hurdis, formerly Vicar of the parish, the author of The Village Curate, which has been likened to Cowper's Task; the verses are full of shrewd wit and local colour.
One mile south-east is the village of East Blatchington, now a suburb of Seaford; the restored church is Norman and Early English. In the south wall is a
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