The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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certainly derived its present name from a fifteenth-century tenant, one John Iprys. It was long used as a prison ; adjoining is an enclosure that has served at different times as bowling-green and gun-garden.
Not long after the erection of the tower it was felt that proper town walls were a necessity, and in 1194 (just after his release) Richard I. granted a charter for their erection. On the south side little was needed to supplement the natural defence of the cliffs, on the other sides the wall was carried round the base of the hill with the desire of enclosing as much ground as was prac­ticable. On the east the whole site has been washed away by the sea, and a regular cliff has been formed there; north and west the wall may still be seen, though in a very battered state, but probably it is chiefly fourteenth-century repairs that at present exist. This is certainly the date of the Land Gate in the north-east corner, the only town gateway that exists in Sussex, except the rather miniature ones at Winchelsea. At each side is a large round tower, and between them are two pointed arches with a segmental vault, grooved for the portcullis. There are tre-foiled lancets, and on the exterior is a fine machicolated parapet. Both the towers are roofless.
While England and Normandy were under the same Crown the Confessor's arrangements in granting the Ports to the Abbey of Fecamp were not found to be inconvenient, but rather the reverse; after the French reconquest of Normandy in 1303-4 (not destined to be the final one), it was intolerable that some of the chief English harbours should belong to what
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