The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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376                  THE SUSSEX COAST
small court a round tower rises higher than the curtain; a string about half-way up has the Tudor rose, crosses, and other devices at intervals. The floors were evidently extremely massive, there are fireplaces with bricks in herring-bone at the back, and a mural stair led to the roof. The stronghold has been dismantled since the middle of the seventeenth century.
Udimore, whence Edward I. superintended the building of the new Winchelsea, stands on the ridge between the valleys of Tillingham and Brede, overlooking the latter. Its name was derived, according to a beautiful legend, from the angels, dissatisfied with the site originally selected for the church, flying through the air with the materials, chanting "over the mere, over the mere." This is a much prettier story than that which tells how Burwash was-named because the Romans there cleaned of Sussex mud a dog named Bur, who had presum­ably been hunting rabbits. Udimore church has a blocked Norman door, and on the south an arcade of three arches dating from about 1200. The chancel is later Early English, and one of its lancets forms a low side window; it is slightly wider than the nave on the south, and its arch has corbels in the jambs. The Early English tower is cemented, and only prevented from falling by huge buttresses of brick. The angel-chosen site of the church is not very convenient for the modern village, which is mostly strung along the main road to Rye; but close by the churchyard, in completest neglect, is a long fifteenth-century building of timber and plaster—the Court House it is called. The upper story projects, with a moulded beam resting on brackets that spring
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