The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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52                    THE SUSSEX COAST
by Saxon settlers, though it is always a most perilous proceeding to attempt to trace in detail our connections with our mother-land. Close by is the peaceful village of Westbourne, which was (according to J. H. Round in Feudal England) the " Burna" where in 1133 Henry I. granted a charter to Cirencester Abbey, conveying, with others, the wide lands once held by Reinbold, or Regenbald, a priest who under Edward the Confessor was the first Chancellor of England. Making his peace with William the Conqueror he was rewarded with a charter in English addressed to the old Saxon authorities, bishops and thegns, confirming his possessions as full and as far as in the days of King Harold, nor would the king suffer any man to take from his hand any of the things he had granted to him in his friendship. Henry's charter, dated from this village close to a once-frequented harbour, was witnessed by the two archbishops and by many high officials of the realm, and the king was on the point of leaving England destined never to return. The square bases of the original Norman pillars of Westbourne Church were discovered in 1865, but the existing building was mostly the work of Henry Fitzalan, Lord Maltrevers, in the early sixteenth century; his arms are on a beam in the north porch. The tower is supported by three flat arches resting on heavy piers, beyond it are three arches on either side with Tudor mouldings on octagonal pillars. It is an interest­ing example of the very end of English Gothic architecture, ridiculously called " debased," and at first sight it greatly resembles Jacobean work. In 1770 another nobleman, the somewhat eccentric George Montague Dunk, Earl of Halifax, after
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