The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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354                   THE SUSSEX COAST
away of the ground had large vaulted buildings below. It is a heavily buttressed Early English building on Norman foundations, its lancets have shafts and window-seats, they are transomed for shutters beneath the glass ; in the south end there are two of them, with smaller ones in the gable above. The timber roof is entirely gone, the floor is the smoothest turf, marked out for a tennis court. There are stair turrets in the east wall and in the south-east corner. The latter appears in the photograph, which shows the south end taken from just outside the precinct wall, of which it formed a part. The lowest and most southerly of the chambers below is very lofty and large, vaulted in four bays with a single row of large round pillars, shafts against the walls, moulded capitals. A big fireplace in the south wall has thin tiles in the back. Just north is the smallest of the three chambers, vaulted in two bays with three aisles ; the pillars are of Purbeck marble and round, the caps are set with lead and one has rough palm-leaves. Next to this is a vaulted slype which seems to be largely Norman. The third chamber, the lowest in height but highest in floor level, has five bays, and is vaulted with two rows of round pillars.
The buildings west of the cloister, which con­tained the abbot's own apartments, including a hall 58 feet by 31 feet, are built up into the present house, which is of various dates and largely altered in character. The pipes on the north side bear the date 1711 and the Montague arms.
South of the cloister was the refectory, and of this remain the west end against the house with cinquefoiled arcading and part of an arch that opened to an oriel. Along the hill-side farther south
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