Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

An illustrated appreciation, of the most interesting districts in Sussex.

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The church contains a memorial to a young gentleman named Fagg who, "having lived to adorn Human Nature by his exemplary manners, was untimely snatched away, aged 24."
In the neighbourhood of Westham is a large rambling build­ing known as Priesthaus, which, once a monastery, is now a farm. Many curious relics of its earlier state have lately been unearthed.
In Pevensey church, which has none of the interest of Westham, a little collection of curiosities relating to Pevensey—■ a constable's staff, old title deeds, seals, and so forth—is kept, in a glass case.
If Pevensey is all that a castle ought to be, in shape, colour, position and past, Hurstmonceux is the reverse; for it lies low, it has no swelling contours, it is of red brick instead of grey stone, and never a fight has it seen. But any disappoint­ment we may feel is the fault not of Hurstmonceux but of those who named it castle. Were it called Hurstmonceux House, or Place, or Manor, or Grange, all would be well. It is this use of the word castle (which in Sussex has a connotation excluding red brick) that has done Hurstmonceux an injustice, for it is a very imposing and satisfactory ruin, quite as interest­ing architecturally as Pevensey, or, indeed, any of the ruins that we have seen.
Hurstmonceux Castle stands on the very edge of Pevensey Level, the only considerable structure between Pevensey and the main land proper. In the intervening miles there are fields and fields, through which the Old Haven runs, plaintive plovers above them bemoaning their lot, and browrn cows tugging at the rich grass. On the first hillock to the right of the castle as one fronts the south, rising like an island from this sea of pasturage, is Hurstmonceux church, whose shingled spire shoots into the sky, a beacon to travellers in the Level. It is a pretty church with an exterior of severe simplicity. Between the chancel and the chantry is the large tomb covering the remains of Thomas Fiennes, second Lord
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