SEAWARD SUSSEX - online book

A Description of Travels in Sussex During the early 1900s

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"The Island" is conspicuous on clear days with Chichester Cathedral spire in the middle distance. Eastwards is Highdown Hill and the country round Worthing, North the beautiful valley of the Arun and the lovely tree-clad slopes of the Downs of which the nearer spurs form Arundel Park.
The "state" and residential portions of the castle are never shown to the general public. In the fine collection of pictures are a number of Van Dycks and Holbeins, mostly portraits of the Fitz-Alans and Howards.
The entrance to the chancel of Arundel Church, now the Fitz-Alan Chapel, is from the castle grounds. Permission to inspect the famous tombs is rarely given. A lawsuit in the last century attempted the recovery of the chancel for the parishioners of Arundel, but was ineffectual owing to the fact that the chapel was originally that of the college of Holy Trinity, founded in 1380 by Richard Fitz-Alan; this passed to its present possessors at the Dissolution. The Lady Chapel retains its old altar stone with consecration crosses, and above is a window with some fragments of stained glass. In the centre is the tomb of the sixteenth Earl (1421) and a modern tomb of Lord Henry Howard. A number of interesting brasses may also be seen. The main portion of the chapel contains the more famous tombs, the effigies being highly interesting studies of the state dress of various periods. Earl Thomas and his Countess, daughter of King John of Portugal, (1415) occupy the centre; the others are Earl John (1435) under the east arch. William, nineteenth Earl (1488), in a chantry on the south side. On the north are Thomas (1524) and William (1544). A tablet over Earl William's chantry is in memory of the last Fitz-Alan, Earl Henry (1580).
The fine parish church is separated from the chancel by a screen wall. It dates from 1380 and now consists of nave and transepts, the space under the tower being used as the choir. An ancient canopied pulpit is placed against the south-west pier. On the north side are frescoes of the Seven Deadly Sins and
the Seven Works of Mercy. The modern ornate reredos shows with great effect against the curious arrangement of iron grill and bare brick which forms the
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