The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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54                    THE SUSSEX COAST
from the Front of the House, they sit in the dining Room, and see the Town and Harbour of Portsmouth, the ships at Spithead, and also at St. Helen's; which, when the Royal Navy happens to be there, is a most glorious Sight." There was some fighting at Stansted House during the Civil War; its owner, Viscount Lumley, was for the King. On lower land, by the little stream of Racon, is Racton, in Domesday Rachitone. A very tiny village it hides among the trees, like many hereabout; its Park, by the very edge of the Downs, was long the home of the Gounter family, whose interesting monuments of the fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries are found in the chancel of the church. One of them was mainly instru­mental in spiriting along the Downs to Brighton, out of the way of his enemies, the Prince who had had the worst of it at Worcester, but was afterwards to sit upon the throne and to be distinguished as the Merry Monarch. An excit­ing and adventurous journey it was. Wishing to meet as few people as possible they rode along the lonely Downs ; despite his almost desperate situation the closely cropped Prince enjoyed the beauty of the country, and on one occasion sus­tained the character he had assumed by rebuking a profane oath without a smile. The little flint and rough-cast church at Racton, mostly Perpen­dicular, but with older portions, a small wooden spire rising from the west gable, is delightfully quaint within; there are benches with poppy-heads; the chancel is very long in proportion to the nave, its walls lined with memorials to those who once worshipped in the little sanctuary. A rough old timber roof has sheltered many generations of villagers, and will shelter many
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