The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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232                   THE SUSSEX COAST
the old camp and up the slope to Brackmount seem to have been largely earthwork. Thus three important parts of the town were left outside the walls—Southover with the Priory, a suburb on the present Brighton Road whose churches were distinguished as Westout, and the Cliff on the far side of the river. A murage grant of 1266 gives to the constables and good men of Lewes toll of nearly all agricultural produce and fish, of iron, lead and tin, and of a few mis­cellaneous articles—for instance, every tumbrel of squirrels for sale had to pay one halfpenny—to enable them to keep the walls in order. Another grant for the same purpose in 1334 enumerates much the same articles, and specially includes goods that came through by water which had not been specified before.
Anxious to follow the fashion of the day and to make some provision for their souls, William of Warenne and Gundrada had been on pilgrimage in Southern Europe, and visiting the renowned Abbey of Cluny they were greatly struck by its good order and discipline; so they decided to erect a daughter-house in their own town. Accordingly, one Lanzo and three other monks were sent to Lewes, where a church dedicated to St. Pancras was assigned to them as a beginning in 1077, and the great Cluniac Priory that eventually secured such immense property in Sussex rapidly rose.
Of the magnificent church which the founders thought should have canopied their bones till Domesday there are practically no remains, the railway passes over the site of cloister, chapter­house, and quire, and engines shriek where once the high altar stood. The destruction carried out by Portinari for Thomas Cromwell, to whom the
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