SEAWARD SUSSEX - online book

A Description of Travels in Sussex During the early 1900s

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the other hand the identification of this mysterious place with any part of Sussex has been seriously challenged. The estuary of the Adur then extended to Bramber. A glance at the two-inch Ordnance map of the district will make the old course of the river quite clear. In Hove Park is the famous "grey wether," called the "Goldstone." This used to lay in Goldstone Bottom between the railway and the Downs. Inspecting antiquaries proved such a nuisance that the farmer on whose land it lay determined to bury it out of sight; this almost superhuman task was performed in 1833 and the stone remained in the ground until 1902 when it was exhumed.
Preston, the northern extension of Brighton, originally a small place on the London road, has a pleasant park from which the suburb takes its name. The one object of interest to the tourist is the Early English church which has some remarkable frescoes; these represent the murder of St. Thomas of Canterbury, with Our Lord revealing himself to the martyr; on the opposite side St. Michael is shown weighing a soul. In the nave is another picture of the nativity. A destructive fire, a few years ago, greatly damaged these and also the fabric of the church. Careful repair, however, has to a great extent restored the building to its original condition The altar consists of a seventeenth century tomb. The old font was taken away to St. Saviour's Church, but has been very properly replaced.
Brighton is not the best centre for the exploration of the central Down country. If a coast town is chosen Worthing is much better; from there the real country is quickly reached, although the hills themselves are farther away. But there are one or two excursions which obviously belong to Brighton, the most important being that to the Devil's Dyke and Poynings. A rather dull walk of over five miles from the Steyne, retrieved during the last two by fine views on the left hand, will bring us to the old stone posts labelled "The Dyke." This road passes an interesting Museum of Ornithology collected by the late E.T. Booth. Here are to be seen cases of wild birds in their natural surroundings planned with greatest care by Mr. Booth, who gave a lifelong study to the habits and environment of British birds. On the occasions on which the writer has visited the collection no other persons were present, and few residents seem to have heard of it.
Trains run at frequent intervals from Brighton Central to the Dyke and public conveyances from the Aquarium. The excursion should not be missed, though the visitor who is a stranger must be prepared for a regrettable amount of waste paper and broken bottles left about to mar what would otherwise be one of the finest scenes in the Downs. Refreshment stalls and tea gardens help to vulgarize the surroundings, though the added desecration of aerial railway across the Dyke has been removed.
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