The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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RYE                                   399
are pointed. The central tower also has aisles and is Early English, the east and west arches are moulded, the others are much plainer; the tower has narrow lancets and is surmounted by a tall shingled spire. A wooden stair over the quire stalls leads up to the bells. There is a fine screen dating from about 1300 with banded shafts, ornate tracery, and a heavy beam above. The little chancel seems to date from after 1500, and there is a screen to match.
The most interesting excursion from Rye is by steamer up the Rother to Bodiam Castle (the i pronounced as j), through delightfully restful country, where sheep and cattle pasture in the meadows. For a few miles to the wooden bridge shaded by trees that appears in the photograph (p. 382), the river flows across the flats not far from the border of Kent, then is entered its broad valley among the low hills. The castle was built in 1386 by Sir Edward Dalyngruge, who had served in earlier years at Cressy and Poictiers, and it is exceedingly French in character. It stands on the hill-side in a large artificial tank formed partly by excavating and partly by embanking, so that its waters could easily have been drained off by an enemy. The building of local sand­stone is square, quite small, and very irregular, with eight towers, all battlemented and provided with stair turrets; those at the corners are round, those in the centre of each side are rectangular; they rise high above the curtain and have a most picturesque effect. The north and south towers formed entrances, and they have quite perfect machicolated parapets and vaulted gateways with round holes for bosses, otherwise the towers had wooden floors in four stages. A causeway leads
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