The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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the whole sea-front, and where there is a gentle slope towards Beachy Head there are roads on three levels, separated by banks of flowers. Brighton spreads out so far over the Downs that her people can only from certain sections get a view of them, but the whole steep northern face of the magnificent range stretching to the sea at Beachy Head is to be seen from nearly the whole of Eastbourne. Her buildings are not particularly remarkable, there is a Library with small Museum and Technical School under the same capacious roof; one of the churches (All Souls) with the plainest materials manages to give the effect of a successful basilica, a few good towers and spires rise over the roofs and the trees.
Eastbourne may be the "town called Burne" of the Saxon Chronicle (1114), in any case it is a place of venerable antiquity, dating from Saxon days, but originally it was inland; the sea, how­ever, has advanced towards it, and it has spread to the sea, though the old town is still more than a mile from the shore.
The Church of St. Mary is a large and fine building, both nave and chancel having aisles. The round arch between them with semi-octagonal jamb-shafts and additional little circular shafts towards the nave, out of shape through settle­ments, dates from about a century after the Con­quest ; the chancel arcades of three bays with just pointed arches and zigzag mouldings are a little later; the four eastern bays of the nave with lancets in the clearstory are slightly more recent still; on the south stones of different colours are used alternately, a device much more common on the Continent than in England. In both nave and chancel the pillars are octagonal and round
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