The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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266                   THE SUSSEX COAST
many " eligible sites " still await their villas. The situation is very pleasant, and immediately to the east rises a projecting spur of the Downs, on whose summit is an ancient camp, once a rough oval in shape as it appears, but half has fallen into the sea. Burials with broken flint imple­ments have been discovered within its area, a Roman cemetery was near by. Digging in 1911 showed the agger to be very largely of shingle that looked rather as if it had been brought up from the shore; overlying the chalk are beds of very clayey sand whose colour varies considerably. It is a most pleasant spot only ten minutes' walk from the town, sea-gulls scream, cowslips blossom, golf-balls fly about, and to the eastward along the shore just beyond Cuckmere Haven spread the Seven Sisters, where the undulating Downs have been broken into cliffs by the sea. The first four of them look like two pairs of twins, and are higher and more striking than the rest. There kestrels, ravens and peregrine falcons have their homes ; a narrow ledge by the camp itself overhanging the sea called Puck Church Parlour was once the abode of some foxes. Just below the camp-crowned hill, at the end of the Seaford esplanade, is the westernmost of the martello towers built about a century ago, or rather more, all along the ancient Saxon shore, when Napoleon was planning his invasion of England. They are round towers of brick, the wall hugely thick with stairs and passages within its masonry, as in the keeps of old Norman castles; the hardest cement serves for mortar, and a central pillar supports a heavy vault, on top of which a revolving gun was once mounted. So substantial is the work, that at
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