SEAWARD SUSSEX - online book

A Description of Travels in Sussex During the early 1900s

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worked. In the village are several old timber houses, including one said to have been inhabited by Anne of Cleves.
A walk of about two miles past Wick Farm or by Westmeston, over half a mile farther, brings the traveller to the summit of this section of the Downs—Ditchling Beacon (813 feet). Until more accurate surveys were made this was supposed to be the highest point of the whole range.
"This most commanding down is crowned with the grassy mound and trenches of an ancient earthwork, from whence there is a noble view of hill and plain. The inner slope of the green fosse is inclined at an angle pleasant to recline on, with the head just below the edge, in the summer sunshine. A faint sound as of a sea heard in a dream—a sibilant 'sish, sish'—passes along outside, dying away and coming again as a fresh wave of the wind rushes through the bennets and the dry grass." (Richard Jefferies.)
The views from Ditchling, though fine, are not nearly the best, for there is a tameness in the immediate country to the north. A glorious walk, however, can be taken by keeping along the edge past "Black Cap," the clump of trees about two miles east, and then either over or round Mount Harry to Lewes. Those who must see all the settlements of men should proceed downwards to Westmeston, a beautiful little place embowered in trees, some of which are magnificent in shape and size, particularly the great ash at the east of the church which is literally overshadowed by the Beacon. The building is uninteresting and the mural paintings dating from the twelfth century, which were discovered about fifty years ago, have not been preserved. It was near here that Baring Gould speaks of seeing the carcasses of two horses and three calves hanging in a elm; on inquiry he was informed that this was considered "lucky for cattle."
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