The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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24                      THE SUSSEX COAST
Camden (1806); he thought they were dug by the Romans, but probably they are earlier. Only extensive excavation, and perhaps not that, could really decide the point. Gough also gives a most interesting description of Kingly Bottom, with a section of the large tumuli on the Downs above, where it is fabled that Danish chieftains rest.
Later on the Danes sought to get their plunder by peaceful trading, and a little church near the City Cross, by the old market, dedicated to their patron saint, once their enemy, was almost undoubtedly founded by them. It rests upon Roman founda­tions and is extremely small; in the south wall is a narrow door of early Norman type, but the building is now largely modernised. There is a fine old chest carved with mitres, croziers, the arms of the see, the Annunciation, and so on, dated xlver (1603). Its patron saint, Olaf (or Olave) the Thick, was a famous Norseman who had spent some time in England fighting for Ethelred the Redeless and destroying London Bridge in opera­tions against the Danes, victories over whom during that reign are still commemorated by Hock Monday. His valiant actions on behalf of the Faith in his own kingdom of Norway are set forth in one of the most delightful of Icelandic sagas. "He ransacked men's ways of heeding Christ's faith, and wherever he deemed they came short he taught them right manners; and if there were any who would not leave off heathendom he laid such penalties upon them that some he drove away from the land, some he let maim of hand or foot, or stung their eyes out, some he let hang or hew down, and none did he let go unpunished who would not serve God. In this manner fared he^about all that folk-land ; and he punished with
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