The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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330                   THE SUSSEX COAST
headed windows, battlements, and south-east stair; the tower opens by a tall arch with semi-octagonal responds to an entirely modern church, dedicated like that at Crowhurst, in Surrey, which is also famous for its yew, to England's patron saint. Gibbon's identification of St. George the Martyr with a fraudulent army contractor, rival of Athanasius and Arian archbishop, who, however, died rather than renounce his faith in 351 A.D., is now generally discredited. George the Tribune, said to have been burnt alive for tearing down one of Diocletian's persecuting edicts, was a soldier and the hero of the dragon story; there is another otherwise unknown George mentioned in the Chronicon Paschale (c. 630) as a martyr, and we simply have to take our choice. At any rate the spirit of St. George was seen fighting for the Cru­sading army in 1098, at the Battle of Antioch ; a Council at Oxford in 1222 made his day a lesser holiday throughout England, and Edward III. took him as the patron saint of the realm in place of his own namesake, the Confessor. Many mediaeval churches are dedicated to him, particularly the chapel in Windsor Castle and the parish church at Doncaster.
Just below the churchyard are the exceedingly interesting ruins of a small manor-house dating from about 1300. The hall, 40 feet by 23 feet, had a beautiful two-light east window whose shafts out­side have foliage caps; beneath it, above ground, was a vaulted chamber with a central row of pillars and little lancets. (There are some rather puzzling walls at its west end.) Joining by a corner south-east is an entrance porch, vaulted with delicate little corbels, now propped up with wood, whose moulded inner door has shafts; it
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