SEAWARD SUSSEX - online book

A Description of Travels in Sussex During the early 1900s

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which there is an exceedingly fine view of the sea, and in the churchyard is a monument erected to the memory of Captain Nicholas Tattersell, who assisted King Charles II in his escape after the Battle of Worcester.
"The house in which the King was concealed is kept by a publican who has hung the King's head for his sign. The church is a rectory, and the Rev. Mr. Mitchell is the present incumbent; besides the church there are three other places of worship, one for Presbyterians, another for Quakers, and a third for Methodists, which last is lately erected at the expense of the Countess of Huntingdon adjoining her house, through which there is a communication. There are two assembly rooms, which are opened on different nights, one kept by Mr. Shergold, and the other by Mr. Hicks, who also keeps the coffee-house. The place on which the company usually walk in the evening is a large field near the sea, called the Stean, which is kept in proper order for that purpose, and whereon several shops with piazzas and benches therein are erected, as is also a building to perform in when the weather will permit. There is also a small battery towards the sea. At a little distance from the town is a mineral spring which is said to be a very fine one though little used. Upon the hills near the church the Isle of Wight is frequently seen on a clear day. About the town are very pleasant Downs for the company to ride on, the air of which is accounted extremely wholesome, and about eight miles from Brighthelmstone on the Downs is one of the finest prospects in the world called Devil's Dyke."
The literary associations of Brighton are many and various. Charles Lamb lived for some years is Sussex House, Ship Street. Paston House was the home of William Black before he removed to Rottingdean. Ainsworth produced a goodly portion of his historical novels at No. 5, Arundel Terrace, and at 4 Percival Terrace, Herbert Spencer spent the last years of his life and here died. The name of Holyoake, the social reformer, is connected with Eastern Lodge, Camelford Street. A list of such names might be extended indefinitely, and if the celebrities who have been regular visitors were mentioned the record would be endless, though it is said that Robert Browning never entered the town. Dr. Johnson stayed in West Street, when the Thrales lived there; he bathed with the rest and, unlike the rest, abused the surroundings in his usual manner, declaring that a man would soon be so overcome by the dismalness of the Downs that he would hang himself if he could but find a tree strong enough to bear his weight!
Every Dickensian would like to identify the house which the creator of Paul Dombey had in mind when he painted the inimitable portrait of Mrs. Pipchin, "ogress and child queller," whose castle "was in a steep bye street.... where the small front gardens had the property of producing nothing but marigolds, whatever was sown in them; and where snails were constantly discovered holding
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