The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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WINCHELSEA                          365
in Nova Scotia, where American Loyalists after the Revolutionary War sought to build another New York among barren rocks and frozen forests, where, in the picturesque language of Sam Slick (Judge Haliburton), agricultural produce must be raked up with a small comb.
Block upon block has been laid out, the sites of streets that were to be can be traced far through the woods, but where a great city was to stand a mere village actually exists.
Winchelsea was superbly designed, broad straight streets cut up the area into large square blocks in a way that could hardly have been improved upon, and had the place grown as its founders hoped there would always have been plenty of light and air. Its splendid thorough­fares indeed, imperially planned, form a delightful contrast not only with the cramped lanes of other mediaeval towns, but still more with the mean and narrow little streets that satisfied the founders of Middlesbrough six centuries later. To those small-minded rent collectors indeed this town is an eloquent rebuke. And though gardens and trees now occupy the spaces planned for mansions and warehouses, and the population is less than six hundred, Winchelsea to-day is far more a town than a village. Edward took the deepest interest in the progress of the new port, and for a time he personally supervised the work from the house of his friend, William of Etchingham, in the village of Udimore close by. The Town Hall, figured as the chapter-heading, belongs to this period (late thirteenth century), and it is interesting as the only specimen of mediaeval municipal architecture in Sussex and one of very few in England; it is still used for
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