The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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150                   THE SUSSEX COAST
The Ring is an ancient camp more or less oval in shape, protected by a couple of outworks. The fosse and agger are by no means particularly impressive, but the spot is a landmark over a vast extent of the Weald from the trees, which are mostly beeches, that were planted originally about 1760-1770 by Charles Goring, to whose grandson the place now belongs. Towards the end of his long life he wrote a poem, which begins—
"How oft around thy Ring, sweet Hill, A boy I used to play, And form my plans to plant thy top On some auspicious day."
The height is but 814 feet, but at times white clouds drive up from the sea and smother the hill-top in mists while all is clear in the Weald below. Excavations carried out in 1909 (described in S.A.C. by G. S. Mitchell) disclosed Roman build­ings within the area, the chief of them apparently a small temple or mountain shrine, which must have been visible far and wide. Mingled with Roman money, from Nero to Gratian, were three Georgian halfpennies, coins which can penetrate any barrier and which grace every excavation. The site of the digging is replanted, but the ground is thickly strewed with fragments of Roman brick, mortar, tiles, and oyster - shells. Hence one looks down on field upon field and wood upon wood stretching away into the distance over the rolling Weald. Just beneath is Wiston Park, once the home of the far-travelled Shirleys, whose father built the E-shaped Elizabethan house and died in 1613. Its character has been altered by the addition of classic cornices with a large
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