The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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202                   THE SUSSEX COAST
seaweed trails and crabs swim about. Sea cabbage and wallflower grow, but not profusely, on the cliffs, which, farther east, are themselves composed of solid chalk, and extend, with a break at the mouth of the Ouse, all the way to Beachy Head. Magnificently situated above them, and looking straight over the Channel, are the splendid build­ings of Roedean School, an institution for girls on the lines of the great public schools, founded by the Misses Lawrence. Its growth has been really extraordinary, and a branch has been found neces­sary as far off as Johannesburg. The facade is in Tudor style modified, with large gables and small windows, recessed in the centre to form a court with clock-tower over the entrance and another tower each side. Among the buildings at the back is a chapel with cloister court and fountain in the style of the Italian Renaissance (Simpson, archi­tect). No other educational buildings in Brighton can be compared with these, and the gardens are as pleasant as they could be without trees and in so bleak a situation.
Ovingdean is principally known from the in­teresting events that Harrison Ainsworth thought might have happened and duly chronicled in Ovingdean Grange. It is a quiet Down village about a mile inland that, on the whole, is wonder­fully little affected by the close proximity of the town. The church seems to be dedicated to St. Wulfram, an eighth-century Archbishop of Sens, who became a missionary in Friesland, and lost the opportunity of baptizing King Radbod at the very font by tactlessly telling him his unchristened ancestors were in hell. It is a small building, with nave and chancel of early Norman date, partly of Roman brick; the original windows, deeply splayed
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