BYGONE SUSSEX - online book

Essays, Sketches and Illustrations of bygone Sussex

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carved, and with what object, are matters of plentiful conjecture, but scant certainty. There is a similar figure at Cerne Abbas, in Dorsetshire, which is 180 feet long. The Cerne Giant holds in his hands a club 121 feet long. This is close to a former Benedictine monastery, just as the " Long Man" is near an Augustinian priory. Hence these rude earth sculptures have been attributed to monastic influences. Others regard them as of much greater antiquity, and believe them to be representations of ancient British deities. This is the view taken by the Rev. W. de St. Croix, who, in 1874, with the concurrence and assistance of the Duke of Devonshire and others interested in the locality, had the fading outlines marked by bricks. Dr. J. S. Phene is a strong supporter of this theory. Both quote the well-known passage in Caesar as to the images which the Gauls made of their gods. Dr. Phene thinks that this spot at Wilmington was a sacri­ficial arena.
We now leave the Long Man of Wilmington in his solitary state, and, ascending the steep above his head, we are soon amid the breezes of the South Downs. After this blow, we descend until we reach the lane that leads to Folkington,
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