SEAWARD SUSSEX - online book

A Description of Travels in Sussex During the early 1900s

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may be taken. The latter runs between park and river and soon reaches the two villages of North and South Stoke, both charming little hamlets without any communication by road, though a footpath unites the two. The first village, South Stoke, has an Early English church with sedilia and other details. North Stoke has a fine Norman door worthy of inspection. Here a British canoe was discovered in the last century; it may be seen in the Lewes Museum. Across the river, and only to be approached by a detour past Amberley Station, is Houghton. From the bridge over the Arun is a very beautiful retrospect of the valley towards Arundel with the hills falling in graceful curves to the river. The church is Early English of a severe type; here is a fifteenth century brass but nothing more of much interest.
A mile from Houghton Bridge will bring us to Amberley. The village is built on a low hill or cliff immediately above the "wild brooks" or water meadows of the Arun, and is famous for the picturesque remains of the palace of the Bishops of Chichester, which still edge the sandy hill in front of the village. Amberley Castle, as the residence has always been called, was built in the reign of Richard II, about 1379, and then consisted of a crenellated building with square corner towers and two round gate towers; the present house, which stands within the walls, was erected in the early sixteenth century by Bishop Sherbourne. This has probably been the site of an episcopal residence since before the Conquest and is in as beautiful a situation as is to be found in Sussex, though judging by a local saying quoted by Lower, it would not appear to be as perfect in the winter. An Amberley man when asked from where he comes then answers "Amberley, God help us," but in the summeró"Amberley, where would you live?" "Amerley" is immortalized by Izaac Walton for its trout, and by Fuller, who speaks of them as "one of the four good things of Sussex."
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