The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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106                    THE SUSSEX COAST
there (now at the Palace, Chichester) was supposed by some to represent him.*
The site of Arundel was evidently chosen from the navigable river here entering, or rather leaving, its gap through the Downs. Holinshed tells us "The Arun is a goodlie water, and thereto in­creased with no small number of excellent and pleasant brookes. It springeth up of two heads, whereof one descendeth from the north not far from Gretham, and going by Lis, meeteth with the next streame (as I gesse) about Doursford House." A street in Arundel called Tarrant seems possibly to commemorate an earlier name of the stream, but the nomenclature of our Sussex rivers is a subject of the extremest complexity. In a wide gap among extensive grassy meadows flows the Arun through the South Downs ; above it there is a spur of the hills that joins the wooded park and looks across the fertile maritime plain with the river winding over it to the Channel. Here are traces of defensive earthworks that go back to the immemorial past, and protecting the same site is a large mound that looks like a Norman motte, and is surrounded by a deep ditch where no water ever was. This was probably, at least in part, the work of Roger of Montgomery, to whom the Conqueror granted the Rapes both of Arundel and Chichester. The plain arches of the gate-tower—just south of the keep—the outer one with a portcullis groove, are likewise in all proba­bility his work. His castle was of the usual motte and bailey type, and it seems that this entrance to the outer bailey was the only part of the defences
* A long barrow in Arundel Park called Bevis' Grave was opened in 1833, but nothing of special interest was discovered.
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