The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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286                   THE SUSSEX COAST
fifteenth-century work, the crypt may perhaps be earlier.
Just beyond the limits of Eastbourne to the north, but close to Hampden Park, is the village of Willingdon, whose church is Early English work with a fine moulded and shafted south door, but except the tower the building was largely reconstructed during the fifteenth century. At the end of the aisle is a chapel with interesting monuments to the families who have succeeded each other in holding the manor. Of the Parkers there is a series beginning with sixteenth-century brasses, continuing with Jacobean tombs, and ending with a tablet to the last of them, who died unmarried in 1750. The Tray tons are commemorated, but not apparently the Durrants, to whom they sold the place. George Thomas, Governor of the Leeward Islands, has a tablet with painted arms dated 1774. A tablet of 1780 commemorates Arthur Freeman, of Antigua. There are later memorials to the Freeman Thomases.
The writer knew a venerable old quarryman of West Hoathly who spoke broad Sussex dialect and was called Mr. Trayton Durrant, but who seemed to know nothing whatever of the county families whose names he bore. It has often been pointed out that some of the most back­ward families among the mountains of the Southern States come of good old English stock, and there is no reasonable doubt that at home too the posterity of many a younger son of a proud house have sunk into the peasant ranks. The blood of more than one old Sussex family supposed to be long extinct still flows in humble veins whose owner knows nothing of the history
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