The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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SHOREHAM                            171
Near by on the Downs, lonely yet, though in a land invaded by slate and brick and golf ball, stands Hangleton, of whose manor died Sir Philip Sydney seised in 1586. There is an interesting old house, once the home of the family of Bellingham. It is largely Elizabethan, but there are much older portions in the farm stables and elsewhere; a ribbed ceiling of moulded plaster lighted by large transomed windows displays on its ample bosses the fleur-de-lis, three bugles, horse eating oak-leaves, Tudor rose, and other devices. It was largely remodelled in the eighteenth century, and the stairway has turned balusters. What is now the kitchen has a classic screen, from which have long disappeared the Ten Commandments, and the often-quoted exhortation that used no vowel but " e " :—
" Persevere ye perfect men, Ever keep these precepts ten."
Before Edward Bellingham, in 1561, was held an inquisition at Steyning for the " execucion of ye statute of apparell for men's wifes." Only if their husbands kept a certain number of good horses that might be commandeered in time of war might ladies be resplendent in dresses of velvet and silk.
The little hillside church of Hangleton is dedi­cated to St. Helen, mother of Constantine the Great, who found the Cross. Gladly would we claim her as of British birth and believe Man-deville's story that " she was daughter of King Coel, born in Colchester, that was King of Eng­land, that was clept then Britain the more ; the which the Emperor Constance wedded to his wife, for her beauty, and gat upon her Constantine,
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