The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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86                     THE SUSSEX COAST
before long. . . . The land is principally enclosed; a small part of the arable, but the greater part of the meadow and pasture, is in common. The village contains about a dozen houses, most of which are round the verge of a small common, on which, and in the common meadow, after the festival of St. James, the farms have leases for turning out cattle in proportion to their size. A cow is valued at 12s. 6d.; a horse double; or two cows may be turned to common on one horse-lease." A common still exists and is covered largely with gorse. The church has been rebuilt; it is dedicated to St. Leodegar or St. Leger, chiefly known for his associations with the turf. He was a seventh-century Bishop of Autun, and played a prominent part in the stormy events of Merovingian days. He had strong convictions, for which he fearlessly died, but he was rather a political than a strictly religious martyr.
To the east of these villages the rather feature­less and very low shore is relieved by a singular reef of rocks, once much more extensive than at present, having been reduced by the erosion of the waves, and by quarrying for purposes of building. They are known as Bognor Rocks,* and they make the sea-front of that little town much more inter­esting than it would otherwise be; there is not much beauty either in the concrete wall or in the iron pier. Lying on the beach, however, are usually to be seen tarred lobster-traps made of osiers locally grown. It takes a man a whole day to make two of them, and on account of the frantic and sometimes successful efforts of the crustaceans to escape the traps seldom last more than a year. Baited with pieces of fish, they are sunk in the sea with flints, and as the lobsters are * Lower Eocene, full^of large shells.
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