The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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154                    THE SUSSEX COAST
" This is not the only Town in this County where the Elections have been so scandalously mercenary, that it has been said, there was in one King's Reign more Money spent at Elections than all the Lands in the Parishes were worth at Twenty Years Purchase."
Rotten boroughs sometimes returned good men. The famed William Wilberforce was once driving through Bramber, and, hearing its name, he thought it sounded strangely familiar, and it suddenly dawned upon him it was the place whose opinions he represented in Parliament. There were carpet-baggers in the land before America had invented the appropriate description.
The chief industry of Bramber to-day is teaing wayfarers and school-children, while for their further delectation it has a locally famous Museum, where stuffed animals follow the avocations of man.
Just over the tidal river, now a narrow stream, is Beeding, called Upper to distinguish it from Lower, which stands high amid the forests of the Weald. The church has some plain Early English work, including the tower and pilaster buttresses to support the north wall of the nave. The chancel has a singularly beautiful little window, with moulded round arches and clustered responds (date about 1180), obviously moved thither from else­where. It probably belonged to the Benedictine Priory of Sele hard by, a house dependent on the Abbey of St. Florent, Saumur, which was never very famed for good order, and which, after being reduced to a single monk, died of inanition, and in the late fifteenth century its buildings were assigned to the Carmelite Friars of Shoreham, washed out of their own abode by the sea.
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