The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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the north the walls, shaded by large elms, form public walks ; in places modern masonry is em­ployed to reduce the width of the earthen banks and so make room for roads; elsewhere the walls are in private gardens, chiefly those of the Cathe­dral dignitaries and of the residence called Cawley Priory (p. 42).
Roman foundations and mosaic pavements have been found within the walls of the Cathedral, and in fact all over the city, which evidently became in Imperial days the home of a cultured and fairly wealthy community. It was called Regnum from the Celtic tribe whose capital it was. An earthen aqueduct with pipe seems to have brought water from the north-east. The cemetery was beside the Stane Street, outside the Eastern Gate; in 1895 a quantity of sepulchral pottery was found there. A large graveyard exists to-day, and is called Litten, or place of the dead, a common Sussex term. In North Street, under the portico of the eighteenth-century Guildhall, generously restored by the Duke of Richmond to the city after a long sojourn at Goodwood, is a slab of Purbeck marble * which is inscribed—the missing letters conjecturally sup­plied in italics—
* It was dug up in 1723 under the place where it is now preserved ; the surface is defaced and the text is by no means certain. The end of the fifth line (where the marble is badly broken) may have read AVG IN BRIT which is the version given in Monumenta Historica Britannica (1848), and is much easier to translate : it also has the high authority of Pauly-Wissowa. " A sacris " and " sodales" in line 7 are are of course alternate suggestions.
The marble seems to have come from the Purbeck peninsula of Dorset, but it has usually been called Sussex marble, from the quarries near Petworth. The latter is composed of much larger univalves than the former, but they are sometimes not easy to distinguish.
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