SEAWARD SUSSEX - online book

A Description of Travels in Sussex During the early 1900s

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The turreted entrance gateway is less ruinous than the remainder of the buildings and, with the banqueting hall, is as fine a specimen of early sixteenth-century architecture as will be found in England. Notice the vaulted entrance to the Hall. On the north side, looking towards the Guard House is the State Bedchamber, wherein Queen Elizabeth slept in 1591. There are several contemporary
accounts of the stately merrymakings which took place during the visit, including the "hunting" scene in which buck deer were guided past Gloriana's bower, from which she made dead shots at them, reminding one of the "bulls-eyes" with which a later Queen opened the national shooting competition for her worshipping subjects.
On St. Ann's Hill near the town may be traced the outlines of the stronghold erected by the de Bohuns; the town and surrounding country remained in their hands until Sir David Owen, uncle of Henry VII, married the last of the line. Sir David sold the estate to the Earl of Southampton, whose son left it to his half brother Sir Anthony Browne, Standard Bearer of England; his son became the first Viscount Montague.
The estate is now held by Lord Cowdray, who has a modern mansion, built in a flamboyant Elizabethan style, near-by.
Midhurst is a pleasant old place with some good ancient houses here and there. Those in the centre which form the subject of Miss Vigers' sketch, are being demolished as this is written; their disappearance will be appreciated by motorists in a hurry but by no one else. The Perpendicular church has been largely rebuilt during the last century and the Montague Chantry lacks its tomb, which has been removed to Easebourne. Richard Cobden was educated in the Grammar School (founded in 1572). During the last few years Midhurst has become to some extent a resort for Londoners who appreciate a quiet country town amid beautiful surroundings which may be explored easily. The walks, not only to the Downs on the south but northwards to the lovely and remote hills which culminate in Blackdown, are among the best in West Sussex. South, west, and east the town is well served by the Brighton and South-Western Railways, a single line in each direction.
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