The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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320                   THE SUSSEX COAST
organ of the church. In 1911 the organ was being rebuilt, so the nest was lifted on to the sill of an adjacent window, where the young birds were reared in the odour of sanctity. This trifling circumstance seems specially to embody the peace that pervades Herstmonceux. The village is still the centre of the trug industry. Trugs are strong baskets of wood; lathes, usually of willow, being nailed to the strong ash frame and handle. They are commonly used in most Sussex gardens, and are sent far beyond the limits of the county and even of the kingdom. The inventor was one Thomas Smith, about three generations ago, and they have gained prizes at exhibitions in Paris and elsewhere.
The next village is Wartling, a pretty little place with large walnut-trees and hawthorn pink and white among the cottages. The little church has no details earlier than Perpendicular, though the walls look older in parts; the nave has short side chapels and the chancel has tablets to the Luxford and Curteis families of Windmill Hill: the latter came from Tenterden in Kent, a limb of the Cinque Ports dependent on Rye in the late eighteenth century, and happily live here still. On the south wall appear in relief a Catherine-wheel and the buckle of the illustrious Pelhams; the latter was won, it is said, when, in 1356, the French king surrendered to Sir John and handed to him his buckle as a token. It is found on Robertsbridge Abbey and nine other churches of Sussex,* showing the liberality of the family in contributing to good works.
* Waldron, Laughton, Chiddingly, Rype, East Hoathly, Crowhurst, Burwash, Ashburnham, Dallington. The initial letter is from the buckle at Crowhurst.
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