The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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BRIGHTON                             193
The doors are all left unbarred, and yet I never heard of anything being stolen." It was not till 1854 that Brighton was incorporated, in 1889 it was made a county borough.
The ancient custom of skipping on Good Friday, or "Long Rope Day," appears to be more commonly observed by small Brightonians than by the children of other places in the county, and as it is certainly a mediaeval survival this is an interesting token of the continuity of Brighton's life. .The rope is a reference to Judas hanging himself. Hemp was once grown in Brighton for fishing purposes, but in the late eighteenth century two new streets were built over the Hempshares and named from the old inns bearing the signs of the Black Lion and the Ship.
The gardens that occupy the central valley of the town, from the Old Steine to the triangular tree-circled Recreation Ground called the Level, are among Brighton's most attractive features. Overtopping the trees of one of them rises the tower of the present parish church, which was built by the architect of the Houses of Parliament, Sir Charles Barry, in 1824. It is a fine building of Portland stone in the style of the transition from Decorated to Perpendicular. The lower part of the beautiful tower has double walls with a passage between them; the outer ones support a gallery and end with turrets and flying buttresses, it seems a curious and rather a pointless arrange­ment, but it used to be greatly admired. The nave and aisles are separated by clustered pillars and vaulted throughout, but all in plaster. A large and very splendid new chancel, designed by Somers Clarke in the early Tudor style, has replaced the original apse. The interior is rich in memorials,
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