The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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316                   THE SUSSEX COAST
palm-leaf caps ; in the north-west corner is a very low arcaded tower with north-east stair and a shingled spire rises above. The narrow lower windows are square-headed without and have lancet arches within. In the south aisle is a cusped sepulchral recess that seems early fourteenth-cen­tury work. The chancel and its north chapel, which contain the monuments already mentioned, are of plain brickwork and apparently contem­porary with the castle ; on the north is a miniature niche for a figure, about four inches high.
In 1708 Thomas Lord Dacre sold Herstmonceux to George Naylor, of Lincoln's Inn. Now the Bishop of Chichester between 1731 and 1740 was Francis Hare, and he was neither a great man nor a good. He married his cousin, the sister of Mr. Naylor, and their eldest son in due course became a member of the " Hell Fire Club," which met at Medmen-ham Abbey, on the Thames. When, other heirs failing, this gay young spark inherited Herstmon­ceux the Bishop made it his home for a time, and was much disgusted at the huge cost of keeping it up. His letters growl about the expense of the unremunerative deer park, from which "half the county expected to be supplied with venison"; about the twenty weeding women who had to be maintained to keep the courts in order; about the beer-butts that had to be placed by the highway for the benefit of every passer-by who chanced to thirst. For ail this there was perhaps some ground, and among other extravagances which custom prescribed that the owner of the castle should indulge in was the keeping, so it is said, of no less than four persons whose sole duty was to wind the clocks. However, when the prelate's wife died he consoled himself in an indecently
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