The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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160                    THE SUSSEX COAST
which P. M. Johnston sees the remains of a portions. The rest of the nave with transepts and tower are Norman; the central arches rest on shafts with scallop caps and have ornate mouldings, especially-zigzag. In the nave is a remarkable rood beam with double billet moulding. The tower has three arches aside, and the central one encloses a double window. The original Norman church probably had three eastern apses; the transept arch on the north opens into a vestry on part of the site of a Decorated chapel, that on the south can be clearly traced. The present chancel is a fine Decorated example with net tracery windows; dog-tooth is carved on a tie beam, which is extremely unusual. The screen has octagonal shafts, trefoil arches and battlements above; it can never have supported a loft. It is a late thirteenth-century piece of work, and the most interesting thing about it is perhaps the extremely clumsy way in which so beautiful an ornament was connected with the Norman responds.
Here or hereabouts was the Roman Portus Adurni. Hilaire Belloc places it at Old Shoreham itself, and declines to believe the name Adur for this river to date only from the seventeenth century, though of course admitting that the stream has borne many alternative designations. Selden's well-known note to Drayton's Polyolbion is: " This Riuer that here falls into the Ocean might well bee vnderstood in that Port of Adur, about this coast, the reliques whereof, learned Camden takes to be Edington, or Adrington, a little from Shoreham. And the Author here so calls it Adur." Camden cautiously avoids giving the river any name at all; his remark as to Portus Adurni, to which Selden refers, is " The name still almost
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