The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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VILLAGES ON THE PLAIN            123
the neighbouring villages. It is not pretended that all the circumstances of this beautiful story are absolutely unique, but the information about descendants is much more interesting than the hackneyed ending about all living happily ever after.
Here was a Saxon nunnery, but Roger of Mont­gomery refounded it as a cell of Almanesches in Normandy. The church is of great interest, and the nave and quire are of " Saxon " type, both very long and very high, perhaps built before the Con­quest, though it is certain that for some years after 1066 churches were still constructed in the old style.* Among original features are a door and a window, and the high and narrow chancel arch with abaci on two different levels. About a century after the Conquest a north aisle was added to the nave, the old wall was underpinned and four pointed arches resting on round pillars with scallop and foliage caps were provided. This difficult operation was performed with insufficient skill, and in the fifteenth century a striking work to support the fabric was inserted in the form of a new aisle roof of solid timber beams reaching the ground both against the pillars and the wall, an arrangement interesting, unusual, and success­ful. Besides the aisle, the lower part of the tower and most of the present chancel, with its chapel, are of Early English date, but not all belonging to quite the same period. The twelfth-century square marble font, like so many other Sussex
* It would be surprising if this were not so ; proof seems to be afforded by the fact that the Saxon tower at Branston has details clearly copied from the west front of Lincoln Cathedral* See an article by Hamilton Thompson, F.S.A., in Memorials of Old Lincolnshire.
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