The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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sustain the square bell-cot at the western end. Monuments to the family of Selwyn begin with a brass of 1539, and end with a finely carved marble tablet of 1706. A Jacobean monument of 1613 shows us three poor little dead babies and recalls the sorrows of three centuries ago.
A very steep descent by a flint-strewn road leads into the valley which looks through Birling Gap to the Channel, and a fourteenth-century coffin slab in East Dean church bears the arms of the turbulent family of Bardolf, who for centuries were seised of its manor. A much earlier relic of long past days is the flint church tower which was built shortly after the Norman Conquest, obviously for purposes of defence; it is in three stages, each slightly receding with very narrow windows. The lower stage formed a chapel and an eastern arch opened into a little apse, whose foundations still remain; it is to a small extent built of Roman materials. Several unimportant villas have been found along this shore. On the south of the tower, touching but hardly incorporating it, nave and chancel have been added, and as is so often the case they are not in the same straight line; the nave seems late Norman work, the chancel is a little less ancient and has lancets with banded shafts, but original features in both cases have been greatly destroyed. The Norman font, partly old and partly new, has interlacing circles with pellets above and cable moulding below.
The pulpit is a fine carved Jacobean example with sounding-board or canopy. The officers responsible for its erection seem to have fancied themselves successors to the Consuls of Rome, and their inscription grandiloquently declares : " In the yeare that William Hermitage and George Gyles
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