The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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SHOREHAM                            173
Boldwig, who had Mr. Pickwick when unsober wheeled off to the village pound, called his resi­dence a villa, but now the poor word merely suggests a frail bow-windowed cottage of brick and slate, not one of whose doors will open with­out a kick, nor a window without a blow. Brigh­ton is now in full view, and in fact the rectory of West Blachington is united with its vicarage. An old Presbyterian hymn, which declares that the Al­mighty has provided all things needful and " doing is a deadly thing, doing ends in death," is very true of man's treatment of the Downs. If let alone their scenery may challenge comparison with any­thing of the kind on the surface of the earth, but if as hereabouts market gardens and cabbage plots are allowed untidily to sprawl over their surface they produce the very saddest effect of weariness and desolation.
Blatchington church is of Norman date with later additions, and after long lying in ruins it was rebuilt in 1890-1. Two little Norman win­dows remain in the west wall, a similar one on the south was too decayed to be restored. Rather puzzling foundations of a western extension and of two small chambers on the south were found. Under the chancel steps was discovered a flint-built grave containing a complete skeleton, per­haps that of the founder of the church ; other human remains, a plain coffin slab, a few stone fragments, chiefly of Norman date, and a rusty old key likewise came to light. Undoubted marks of fire were to be seen on what remained of the inside plaster. The manor-house has a large mediaeval diagonal buttress of flint, and to a small extent Roman materials seem to have been used in the building of the village.
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