The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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48                     THE SUSSEX COAST
was called from the blessed Rumbold, and that he was the original patron of the church. He was a famous infant saint, born at King's Sutton, Buckinghamshire, his father a Northumbrian king, his mother a daughter of Penda. As soon as born he said, " I am a Christian "; he gave directions about his baptism, supplied the name and preached a sermon; but at the end of only three days, having with fascinating modesty arranged which churches should have the privilege of enshrining his relics and for how long each, this precocious infant was dead. Fuller's observation about him is, " I writ neither what I believe, nor what I expect should be believed, but what I find written by others." If, however, as seems prob­able, his fond mamma was the interpreter of all St. Rumbold said, there is nothing at all incredible about the story of his life; that he spoke very indistinctly seems apparent from the innumerable different ways in which his name is spelt.
The first village out on the Stane Street is West Hampnett, with a peaceful churchyard shadowed by large elms. The church is of con­siderable interest, being partly of Roman brick, probably built just before the Conquest, but the narrow chancel arch of that character has unfor­tunately been removed. Over a little chapel in the north-east corner of the nave rises a tiny Early English tower with shingled spire. In the chancel are crudely carved Tudor monuments of the Thatcher and Sackville families. Bishop Durnford (1870-1895), who has a fine monument in the Cathedral, rests in the churchyard, as also his successor, Ernest Wilberforce.
Chichester Harbour comes to within about a mile
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