SEAWARD SUSSEX - online book

A Description of Travels in Sussex During the early 1900s

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curious recess in Decorated style, the real use of which has not yet been discovered. Notice the sedilia and projecting piscina, and the tablet to the memory of the famous aeronaut, Coxwell, who died here in 1900.
Seaford was once an ancient port at the mouth of the Ouse before that river forsook its old channel for the outlet where is now the "New Haven." An important satellite of Hastings and ranking as one of the lesser Cinque ports, the old town saw much history-making during the French wars and suffered accordingly. Its actual foundation dates at least from Roman times as is proved by the fragments of sculpture, coins, etc., dug up at different times during the last two hundred years. At the rear of the East Cliff, near a footpath leading to Chyngton, are traces of a Roman cemetery with possible evidence of earlier British burials.
In the town itself are some interesting though scanty remains of mediaeval times. In the garden of a house named "The Folly" is a vaulted room the origin of which has never been satisfactorily explained. It is possibly part of the Ancient Hospital of St. Leonard. The open space at the higher end of the town is called "The Crouch" a name that is a corruption of "The Crux." The fine old Hardwicke House in Broad Street is dated 1603. At one time it was a lodging-house, but its fortunes have lately risen. Seaford House was once the temporary residence of Tennyson.
Seaford church is dedicated to St. Leonard and is Norman as far as the tower is concerned, of which the embattlement is modern; note the crosses in black flints on three of the sides. The base of the walls of the church date from this period, rising through Transitional to Perpendicular. The detail has been largely spoilt through restoration. Note the capitals of the pillars which are most elaborately worked, that near the south door having a representation of the Crucifixion carved upon it.
Millburgh House was once the property of a noted smuggler named Whitfield, whose immunity from punishment was obtained by judicious presents of choice wines in high quarters. Tales of the old smuggling days would fill many pages, and undoubtedly the profession formed the major commercial asset not only of Seaford but of more important Sussex
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