SEAWARD SUSSEX - online book

A Description of Travels in Sussex During the early 1900s

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in that province for three years before his arrival, wherefore a dreadful famine ensued which cruelly destroyed the people.... It is reported that very often, forty or fifty men, being spent with want, would go together to some precipice, or to the sea-shore, and there hand in hand perish by the fall, or be swallowed-up by the waves." (Ven. Bede.)
The efforts of the missionary saint met with success. The unprecedented sufferings of the people had been ignored by their tribal deities and the offer of a new faith was eagerly accepted. The King had been converted, possibly in secret, before this. The baptism of the leading chieftain was followed by the breaking of the terrible drought. The fruits of the woods came to feed the bodies of those who had accepted the food of the spirit, and "the King being made pious and gentle by God, granted him (Wilfrid) his own town in which he lived, for a bishop's see, with lands of 87 houses in Selesie afterwards added thereto, to the holy new evangelist and baptist who opened to him and all his people the way of everlasting life, and there he founded a monastery for a resting-place for his assembled brothers, which even to this day belongs to his servants." (Eddi's Life of Bishop Wilfrid.)
The monastery site was probably the same as that of the cathedral, now beneath the waves, about a mile east of the present Selsey church.
To explore the peninsula a start should be made at Appledram, a small village close to Chichester Channel and about two miles south-east of the city; here is a fine Early English church, on the south of which is an ancient farm-house, originally a tower built by one Renan in the reign of Edward II. The King would not grant permission for its crenellation, Renan thereupon disposed of most of the materials and they were used to build the campanile at Chichester. Footpaths lead across the meadows to Donnington where is another Early English church of but little interest. A mile away on the banks of the disused Chichester and Arundel
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