The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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as Pagham Harbour (p. 72). So little however did our sport-loving fathers appreciate the life of towns that they did not occupy the city that was ready to their use, but pitched their tents without it on the southern side amid the muddy meadows by the Lavant, and their settlement there took its name from a bridge of stakes. Stockbridge still gives its title to the hundred, though the place has practically ceased to exist. Kingsham, a modern­ised house with some unimportant mediaeval frag­ments, marks the spot where lived the king.
In later days the Saxons certainly moved within the city, but nothing that they built there seems to remain. The town became known however as Cisseceaster (probably the camp of Cissa, though this has not been proved); the older name, Regnum, was discarded.
The Danes' first visits to Sussex were for pur­poses of plundering the Saxons by fire and sword, and in 895 we learn from the Chronicle that the Cicestrians fought and routed a party of these lawless marauders who had been foraging in the West. The site of this encounter was, according to local tradition, at Kingly Bottom, a beautiful combe of the Downs just beyond the quiet little village of West Stoke, famed for its magnificent yew-trees and redolent of memories of the past with traces of round British huts, a trackway and imposing tumuli, some of which recent excavation has shown to be of Neolithic age. Over the flat land between this place and the city, buried among woods or crossing Goodwood Park, extending for many miles and not very easy to trace, are earth­works obviously intended to protect Chichester in case of attack from the Downs. They are elabor­ately described by Richard Gough in his edition of
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