The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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118                   THE SUSSEX COAST
has an almost ideal situation; behind rise the Downs and in front is the navigable river. To the north, more than half-way through Sussex toward Surrey, flows and ebbs the tide, past the old Norman church and Bishop Rede's fortified manor-house at Amberley, right up to the frequently flooded head of the old fjord at Pulborough. It is a region full of interest though outside the scope of this book. The Stane Street close by Pul­borough crosses the river and at Hardham, half a mile away, passes through the only undoubted Roman camp in the county in sight of the remains of an Augustinian priory in the same little village. A canal connecting the Arun with the Wey and so with the Thames was disused and allowed to become overgrown about thirty years ago.
Only just clear of the town limits of Arundel on the south is the tiny village of Tortington, where was founded during the twelfth century a small priory for only seven or eight Augustinian Canons, of which there are rather scanty remains, though recent excavation has largely recovered the ground-plan. It was built at different times in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries; the church was of considerable beauty, and it might be thought rather unnecessarily large. Tortington Place, the manor-house, was built largely of the materials of the priory by the gentleman commemorated by a brass in the parish church, thus inscribed—
Behold and see a freind most deare The Lord hath taken him awaye Amend your lives whilst you be here For flesh and bludd must needes decay. Roger Gratwik Lorde of this Mannor of Tort--ington Cheynesse and patrone of this church Ended this mortall life ye xxvth Day of July 1596. Made by William Gratwik of Eastmallinge in Kent his executor."
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