The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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top of the stage above, over which is a now ruinous story with round turrets. Three ranges of cross-shaped openings for arrows, round ones for firearms, and the formidable-looking battle­ments by which the sky-line is everywhere fretted, give more of the appearance than of the substance of strength, for the walls are comparatively thin and the castle could never have sustained a really formidable siege. Slits aside of the chief entrance were for the drawbridge chains, and a three-arch bridge is built ever the moat to meet it. The moat everywhere touches the actual walls in the manner characteristic of France; on three sides its outer edge is protected by brickwork; on the fourth, towards the east, it swells out into a regular lake—or rather it did so once, for at present it is entirely dry. On this east side the castle windows are very much larger than else­where, being deemed sufficiently protected from attack; the central tower and the one just south of it are round, the former containing the chapel apse, the latter having a beautiful mullioned bow-window that lighted some comfortable bower.
The interior of the castle was arranged with four little courts of different sizes, the two front ones divided by a cloister; no part retains its roof, and though the outer wall is nearly perfect there is less in the way of interior detail than might have been looked for; a vaulted passage runs all round underneath, and there are various cellars, including an octagonal crypt beneath the chapel, which retains a rough piscina. The huge kitchen chimney and oven are to be seen on the west. In this great building we are really very much nearer the Tudor mansion than the older mediaeval castle. It resembles Tattershall Castle, Lincolnshire.
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