The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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BOGNOR                                 87
pulled up they are disarmed by having their claws tied, nature having provided little projections to prevent the ligaments from slipping.
Bognor counts as its virtual founder Sir Richard Hotham, who in 1780 built for himself in beautiful grounds the large brick house called the Dome, from the form of the central part of its roof. He was anxious to " boom " the town, and desired it to be known as Hothampton, a name which would not have been advertising when the fame of the founder being a little dimmed by lapse of time another derivation would inevitably have suggested itself and kept the seekers of cool breezes away. A great charm of Bognor is the foliage that shades so much of the town and makes the older streets attractive. The Early Victorian atmosphere still pervades the little place; the cemented houses that we deem ugly now would form an exactly suit­able setting to some of the scenes of Dickens and Thackeray. Though comparatively so modern in date, the place can boast of a ruined church, whose tower still shelters a clock, though it cannot be called very interesting. Bognor is in the parish of South Bersted, which has a fine Early English church little altered; the pillars, alternately round and octagonal, have simple foot ornaments and moulded caps; there is no chancel arch, and the clearstory is unlighted. A fine chest with carved circles seems nearly as old as the church. Two pillars have remains of old paintings. The tower is very low and heavily buttressed, while a smaller arch has been built under the original one, the foundations were evidently found insecure; there is a shingled spire.
The modern church spire of Bognor is a con­spicuous landmark. But it is for its literary
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