The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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THE MANHOOD                         75
or Earnley is a small and scattered village where, in their proper season, primroses grow along every hedgerow; in a clump of tall elms a colony of rooks have their home. There is a little church of fourteenth century date, its nave and chancel have no arch between, they seem to be built separately and their walls not bonded together. The piscina has an original shelf of wood. Close by is Brackle-sham Bay, with a good bathing beach. It has given its name to beds of shingle and sand that underlie the maritime plain, and seem to date from a time when the sea laved the foot of the Downs. The Bracklesham sands are full of the drifted fruits of the nipa palm; turtles, crocodiles, sea snakes, and large sharks, or rather their fossilised remains, also occur. The bay is perhaps the best place to study them.
What village there is at East Wittering is close to the sea, and a short distance inland stands all by itself among the fields its little Norman church, altered as such buildings usually are in later days, but retaining an interesting door with a sort of herring-bone pattern round the arch, the stone formed almost wholly of tiny fossils. A very short distance west is Cakeham House (pronounced Kakham), which was an ancient possession of the See of Chichester, where once the bishops lived when anxious to enjoy some sea air, or when super­vising this part of their diocese. There are some buildings erected by Bishop Sherburne * (p. 34), who seems specially to have loved this place, and his spirit broods over it still. They are entirely of
* For particulars of Sherburne I am indebted to Canon Deedes, who holds one of the Wykehamical prebends he in­stituted, and whose researches into Chichester archives are well known ; also to Dean Stephens's South Saxon See.
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