The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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176                     THE SUSSEX COAST
writer visited a red-brick village bearing it among prosperous farms in the valley of the S. Platte River just this side of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. On the map of the globe it is written of Brighton that her fame is gone out through all the earth, and her name to the ends of the world. Nor is this place the mere upstart town, child of a prince's whim, that many guide-books would have us believe. It figures in Domesday as Bristelmes-tune, already a considerable village with a church, " defending itself" for five hides and a half, con­taining thirteen villeins and two bordiers. Prob­ably the waves now break over the site of the old settlement, somewhere just south of the Aquar­ium. Nothing is known of the Saxon owner whom the name seems to commemorate. Many Sussex villages are pronounced shorter than they are written, as Selmeston, Simson, Heathfield, Heffle ; and so on; Brighton has long been spelt as it is pronounced. Its importance dates from Norman days; a charter of Bishop Seffrid II. (p. 28) con­firmed to the Monastery of St. Pancras at Lewes Brightelmstone with the chapel of St. Bartholomew, showing that a second place of worship had been required or at any rate provided. This chapel was situated close to where the Town Hall now stands, and in 1888 flint foundations that possibly belonged to it were discovered in Nile Street. It is com­memorated by the name of the square that con­tains the Town Hall and the Market, also by a vast modern brick church, conspicuous from the Lewes Viaduct, an extremely impressive building within, though locally called Noah's Ark from its general appearance without; it is renowned for the height both of its ritual and of its roof. The market dates (at least) from 1313, when John,
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