The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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RYE                                   387
be erected there, between High and Low Water Mark, should be deemed public Nuisances." Nothing beyond passing Acts was done until at last in 1750 the cutting of a serviceable canal due south to the sea was actually begun, but as it soon became clear that its mouth would be blocked by the eastward drift of shingle, it was abandoned and efforts were made to improve the old channel instead.
Rye had the good sense to concentrate her efforts on a single large cruciform parish church instead of providing a number of smaller ones, and it still remains the oldest and most interesting building in the town. The transept walls belonged to a late Norman church, and original arches open into the nave aisles, the northern one having scallop caps, the southern rude foliage and volutes; there is some good arcading with banded shafts and foliage caps, zigzag and billet mouldings. Fine clear­story windows remain in the west walls, but the Norman building has been a good deal interfered with by later work. The nave is of five bays, Early English of about 1190, the pillars are round except for one each side, which is octagonal; the caps and the just-pointed arches are moulded, and there is a rudimentary form of dog-tooth on the drip-stones, a passage runs along the lancets of the clearstory. The chancel and its large span-roof chapels of three bays are also Early English work, but later; on the north are two lofty arches with clustered pillars. The north or St. Clare's chapel has four large lancets in the side wall, a passage runs along them and they have dog-tooth on the drip-stones. Corresponding on the south, in St. Nicholas' Chapel, are three great windows much repaired, each two lancets and a circle over, they
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