The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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80                      THE SUSSEX COAST
temporary development of Gothic architecture through the centuries over Western Europe from Norway to Spain, France being the centre of inspiration. Local differences of vast importance indeed exist, but they are much less striking than the general uniformity. It is extraordinary that even remote village churches may be so exactly dated by the evidence of their very stones. Never­theless old forms may have lasted on at times more than has been realised, and it would be rash dogmatically to assert that no part of this church was St. Richard's work.
The chancel is separated from its large south chapel by two round arches with Early English mouldings, and they rest on a beautiful round pillar of Purbeck marble. Its windows are lancets, a little later than the arcade, the two in the east wall alone are shafted. The nave has south aisle with arcade of four pointed arches, pillars octagonal and round, the abaci square, the caps curiously carved with fleur-de-lis, volutes, and foliage. On the north is a low tower, with two lancets in each face, and a squat square spire ; the old timber bell-staging starts from the ground and has an extremely solid wooden stair. In the chancel are two remarkable sixteenth-century tombs of the Ernie family, both with panelling and bas-reliefs, one of which is inscribed with the prayer: " By . . . crose & passyon delyver us Lord Th . . . cryst." The nave has some old benches with fine poppy-heads ; the chancel has stalls with traceried fronts and misereres, the Tudor rose being conspicuous. There is also an old panel pierced by tiny arched holes that may have been part of a confessional. In the chapel is a little coffin-slab with a cross and crozier, perhaps the grave of a boy bishop (p. 181).
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