The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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LEWES                                235
cricket-field, called the Dripping Pan; it may have been a fish-pond or a garden. The plan of the infirmary chapel, which stood just south of the quire of the church, and many carved details preserved seem to show the influence of Burgundy, where the mother-house of Cluny was situated. The huge cross-shaped dove-cot with over two thousand pigeon-holes was standing in 1807.
If we may credit a story of the Abbot of Ely, Lewes Priory was founded in vain. The circum­stances may be given in Dunvan's words. " The abbot was one night interrupted at his devotion by the rattling of the devil's carriage, and heard the poor earl of Surrey in this infernal vehicle most piteously imploring for mercy, but in vain! he had defrauded the holy brotherhood of Ely. Next morning the abbot related to the monks what he had heard the preceding night: And in about four days after there arrived a messenger from the Lady Gundred, with one hundred shillings in order to obtain the prayers of the abbey for the repose of the earl's soul. Upon inquiry it was found he had died exactly at the hour in which the good abbot heard him posting so reluctantly to h—11: And it is not to be supposed that pious community would receive the mortuary of a sinner thus clearly doomed to endless torture. The messenger therefore returned with the money, and a most dismal account of his deceased master.
"Were this circumstance sufficiently authenti­cated to convince modern sceptics, it would first exemplify to them the danger of defrauding the church, and secondly afford considerable light in ascertaining the locality of h—11. Ely's being nearly due north from Lewes, where the earl is
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