The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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144                     THE SUSSEX COAST
tiny sacristy squeezed in between it and the south wall of the church. At present wide modern arches give access to these transepts. The original open­ings were probably much smaller, and it may be that in these strange additions to the church the Templars desired to reproduce the curious little chapels so characteristic of the churches that cover the Holy Places of Palestine. The foliage bosses in the vaulting of the two chapels of the north transept have holes for suspending lamps, and though now light as day from large windows of later date, the three little chapels when new were probably dark and mysterious, hung with curtains of Eastern stuffs.
North of the tower is another chapel, now in ruin, probably the contribution to the fabric made by the Knights of St. John; the position of a window in the nave wall proves it to have been in its present condition early in the fifteenth century. The church contains some old sculptures of interest, and in the north wall of the chancel is a very late monument of the Easter sepulchre type. Mark Antony Lower discovered that its occupier is Richard Burre of Sowntynge, whose will is dated on the 3rd of August, 19th year of Henry VIII. Though by no means specially magnificent, this church may perhaps claim an interest unreached by any other in Sussex. Its tower was standing when the Confessor was our king. Its chapels carry our minds to the land where our faith had its birth.
Close by, at Sompting Abbots, just before she visited the Levant, lived for a short time the unfortunate Queen Caroline, idol of the mob, but unappreciated as the royal consort of the third husband of Maria Anne Fitzherbert.
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