SEAWARD SUSSEX - online book

A Description of Travels in Sussex During the early 1900s

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Between a fold of the hills lies picturesque Harting in a most delightful situation; an ideal spot for a restful time away from twentieth-century conditions. The tourist, if amenable to the simple life, might well make a stay of a few days to explore the lovely country of which this village forms the centre. The finely placed Early English cruciform church has several interesting monuments to members of former local families, including sixteenth century memorials of the Cowper-Coles. Here is buried Lord Grey, who was connected with the Rye House Plot. Notice the embroidery in the reredos, an unusual style; also the fine wooden roof and shorn pillars; the latter detract from the general effect of the interior and have been noticed in other Downland churches on our route. Quite close to the church are the old village stocks, undoubtedly placed in this position for the sake of convenience, the "court" in more remote districts having been held, in former times, in the church itself. Harting was for a time the home of Anthony Trollope, and Cardinal Pole was rector here.
There are few districts in England and certainly none south of the Trent where old customs and queer legends persist with so much vitality as in these lonely combes and hollows. The effect of being out of the world is perhaps enhanced in these western Downs by the ring fence of dark woods through which we have to pass to reach the bare, wind-swept solitudes and lonely hamlets within them. The northern escarpment and southern flanks of the hills are clothed in vast forests of beech which add that grandeur to the great ramparts of chalk which the eastern ranges lack. Seen through the ever-shifting sea mists which creep up from the channel these heights take on an appearance of greater altitude and an added glamour of mystery.
South-east of Harting is the isolated Beacon Hill, once a semaphore station between Portsmouth and London; but instead of taking at once to the heights, the pedestrian should first visit Elsted up on its own little hill, and Treyford a mile farther; both churches are ruined and deserted. A new church with a spire that forms a landmark for many miles, stands midway between the two and serves
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