The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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288                   THE SUSSEX COAST
Polegate, a railway-formed settlement not more romantic than its name, but the woods around are famed for their butterflies, the magnificent silver-washed fritillary is common, the beautiful white admiral is not so very rare.
A quiet lane turns toward the hill, and soon leads to the scattered little village of Folkington, a delightful retreat among Wealden woods, but right against the Downs. A little Early English church (about 1250) is almost hidden by the trees, the nave and chancel are unseparated by an arch and lighted by splayed lancets with later inser­tions, a square wooden bell-cot rests on a beam that is incribed "T. 1673 A." The roof is largely fifteenth century, with the common Sussex arrangement of king-posts, brackets, purlins, and collars. On one of the tie-beams, when Rev. Howard Hopley was reading himself in as rector, sat some half-dozen owls, who had got into the building the night before, and they listened attentively to the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church without making any sign of dissent. Among the memorials is an eighteenth-century tablet, with urn and cherubs and arms, to "Sir Wm. Thomas, bart., a right worthy Gentle­man," erected by his nephew and heir.
An ancient track along the side of the Downs, with views across the Weald, leads direct to Wilmington church, whose chancel has a Norman string-course with some windows in the same style, and the rest is chiefly Early English, with a short and narrow south aisle. On the walls are traces of Elizabethan texts, and there is a fine canopied pulpit of Jacobean date. In the churchyard is an ancient hollow yew sustained by chains and six great props, whose sombre
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