The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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74                       THE SUSSEX COAST
none in the kingdom. It had three water-wheels, eight pairs of stones, and a fan for cleansing corn ; it could grind a whole load of wheat in an hour. It is now disused, dismantled, and dilapidated.
Sidlesham Church has lost its chancel, which to judge by the remains of arches in the transept wall seems to have had double aisles. The transepts are now hip-roofed, which gives a singular effect; each has two lancets north and south. The central arches with the tower are removed, but their exist­ence is indicated by cracks in the spandrels of the nave arcades, which have lost their abutments. On each side are three lancet arches rising from tall round pillars with foot ornaments. There are traces of frescoes. All this is Early English, the oldest part being the chancel arches, one of which seems to have been round. A poor Tudor tower has been built at the west end; the east wall shows signs of seventeenth-century patching, and there are graves of that period over the site of the chancel. Neatly scratched on a window-jamb is " 1596. R.I.C." The harbour was formerly a great resort of cockles, one of the four famous things of Sussex—which are Arundel mullet, Chichester lobster, Selsey cockle, and Amberley trout. The cockle (Cardium edule) is a heart-shaped bivalve which burrows with its large foot in the sand or mud and, leaving an air-hole above its resting-place, is captured without the slightest difficulty.
A tiny stream flows into the harbour remarkable for its devious course, as if anxious to avoid the sea for as long as it possibly can, Holinshed describes it: " Erin riseth of sundrie heads, by east of Erin-leie, and directing his course toward the sunne rising, it peninsulateth Seleseie towne on the south-west and Pagham at north-west." Erinleie
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