The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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STEYNING                                157
sive within as any modern church in the world, though there is something humiliating in the confession that our age can do no better than copy the mode of building that really lived in the thirteenth century. The slope of the Downs per­mits the crypt to be above ground-level on the east. The exterior is not very beautiful in its present form, without ante-chapel or any one of the three spires to be; but it is much better close up than when seen from far. A great French church sits somewhat uneasily upon our Sussex Downs. The college is extremely prosperous, as it deserves to be. The old village of Lancing, which it has been suggested may possibly derive its name from Wlencing, son of Aella, remains fairly as it was; though, largely from the new railway works, a great cluster of brick and slate has grown up further south. The church has squat central tower and aisles without transepts. Parts are Norman, a transitional Norman-Early English doorway has beautiful foliage caps; the arcades are late in the thirteenth century. In the chancel is a cinquefoiled sepulchral recess whose hood mould ends in a large cross. Two lancets continue down to form low side windows, and in the sill of a later window are uncanopied sedilia. The Gentle-mans Magazine, 1828, tells us : " The Roman build­ing recently discovered on Lancing Down, Sussex, exhibits a gallery of 40 feet square, which has an apartment in the centre 16 feet square, with a tessellated pavement. It is supposed to be the remains of a Roman temple, as various circum­stances combine to confirm. Divers coins, ancient British, Roman, and Saxon, all in a state of excel­lent preservation, besides bracelets, rings, combs, beads, styles, fibulae, &c, were found in the said
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