The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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Some four miles to the north-east through the pleasant fields and woods of the Weald the way­farer reaches Standard Hill where, according to a tradition (which is almost certainly wrong), on his road to the battle the Conqueror raised the banner that the Pope of Rome had blessed. There is an old farm-house built by a Puritan and in­scribed with texts, one of which was literally truer than he knew, since the Restoration was to come next year. " Here we have (1659) no abidence." Just beyond is Ninfield, with a little church much altered but with samples of many dates. A lintel composed of three stones has a very early look, and Sir Gilbert Scott was " inclined to think it may date from before the Danish Invasion." There is rather plain Early English and Perpendicular work, the priest's door is dated 1671 and the south porch 1735 ; there is a fine old yew.
In a little clump of fir-trees at cross-roads are the old parish stocks, four holes for the feet and staples for the hands against an upright at the end, all of Sussex iron. Throughout the old iron district, comprising the whole region of the Forest Ridge, the very substantial work of the Sussex ironmasters is to be seen in the form of articles of a somewhat miscellaneous character. In addition to fire-backs and domestic utensils of all kinds, ordnance was extensively cast in Tudor and later days, while milestones and even grave-slabs of iron are frequently met with. As a rule the fire-backs are the most varied and ornamental in design, many of them bear dates in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. Massive solidity rather than precise finish characterises nearly all the ironwork and seems to reflect the Sussex character.
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