128 THE SUSSEX COAST
plain stone, giving a striking and rather unusual effect. The Perpendicular tower is surmounted by a stone spire, a feature rare in Sussex ; in fact, the only other mediaeval ones are three—at Chiddingly, Northiam, and Dallington, the two latter about contemporary with that of Preston, the former more than a century earlier. The stones that once composed the spire of Chichester Cathedral now form a Dissenting chapel at Funtington, a building destitute of beauty so far as fabric goes, but at its opening the text of the sermon is reported to have been: " The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former."
Next to the village bearing the not unusual name of Preston is, or rather was, one with the still less uncommon designation of Kingston. Sussex possesses no less than three villages that bear that name ; one is on the Downs near Lewes, a second is by the sea, this particular example is under the sea, and only a remnant of its parish remains dry. There is little more than a single farm. This district has always been excellent for agriculture; Arthur Young says the whole maritime plain is of a rich loam, probably equal to any in the kingdom, and he pays its people some well-deserved compliments ; for instance: " The pleasing manner which the farmers adopt . . . of stacking their corn on circular stone piers, cannot be admired too much." It requires some art and attention in the construction of these stacks, but it is no small commendation that it most effectually prevents all vermin from lodging in the sheaves.
Ferring, like Preston, consists of two little villages, one a mere hamlet of the other, but distinguished as East and West. The parish