Glimpses Of Our Ancestors In Sussex - online book

With Sketches Of Sussex Characters, Remarkable Incidents &c

Home | Order | Support | About | Contact | Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

Sussex Tragedies and Romances.            197
with the little life left to him, to give information which led to a speedy pursuit and to the capture of his murderer, at Turner's Hill, and also to his identification. Harris was tried at Horsham Assizes in the following August—the murders were committed in May—and being convicted and condemned to death, he was hung at Horsham and his body then transported to the place of the crime, Ditchling Common, and hung on a gibbet near to the house in which the murders had been committed. A portion of the gibbet still remains—it is, we believe, the only relic of the kind in Sussex—and is known as "Jacob's Post."
Whilst in the Ditchling tragedy a pedlar was the perpetrator of the crime, in the succeeding instance he was the victim. The scene of it lay in the adjoining parish.
One of the many woods which lie scattered on every side of Lindfield is known by the name of Costell's Wood. It lies on the left-hand side of the road from Lindfield to Lewes, in the Manor of Southmalling, and forms part of a large farm called Wallstead. Above 400 acres of this farm are covered with oaks—once famed for their girth and height. But these old giants of the forest have fallen before the axe, and CostelPs Wood now consists chiefly of young trees, planted pretty closely together, in order that they may attain a greater height than oaks do when growing singly in hedge­rows. The space between them is grown over with fern and underwood, but not so thickly as to bar a passage through the trees.
There are, however, too many woods round Lindfield, and too few people in it, to make Costell's Wood a common place of resort, as it would be near a town. With the exception of the woodreeve, who occasionally goes in to lop off an exuberant branch or so, perhaps months pass without anyone being tempted to get over the gate which leads into it from the Lewes road. It holds forth no attractions even to school boys in the shape of nuts or blackberries, or to the sportsman in the shape of game. In Costell's Wood the
Previous Contents Next