« НазадПродовжити »
pool, in 1829. Ashburnham House, the residence of the Earl, is a spacious modern edifice, adorned with some excellent paintings, and standing in an extensive park, well stocked with deer. The Church is not far from this house, and contains several magni. ficent monuments for various members of the family. In the vestry are the shirt in which Charles I was beheaded, stained with some drops of his blood; his watch, presented by him to John Ashburnham, who attended him to the scaffold; his white silk drawers, and the sheet which covered his lifeless body; these were bequeathed, in 1743, by Bertram Ashburnham to the parish clerk and his successors, and are exhibited as curiosities.
BALCOMBE, a village about seven miles from Crawley, with a population of 606 persons, has a very ancient Church, standing on an eminence at the entrance of the village, and almost secluded from observation by the lofty fir-trees which surround it.
BATTLE, OR BATTEL, Is a small town, nearly eight miles from Hastings, and 56 from London, consisting principally of one street, and having a population of 2852 persons. It was formerly called Epiton, and received its present appellation from being the spot on which the Saxons under Harold were defeated by William, Duke of Normandy, in 1066, in what is generally known as the battle of Hastings. After the contest the Conqueror founded here a magnificent Abbey, to commemorate his victory; and the high altar in the Church is said to have stood on the very spot on which the body of the heroic Saxon prince was found. The Abbot was mitred, and possessed many important privileges; at the Dissolution the revenues of the foundation were £987, out of which Henry allotted small pensions to the Abbot and a few of the monks; the greater part of the buildings was pulled down, and the materials sold. The estate afterwards became the property of Sir Anthony Browne, by some of whose descendants the remains of the Abbey were converted into a residence; and the property was afterwards disposed of to Sir Thomas Webster, in whose family it still continues. Although much disfigured by clumsy reparations, enough still remains of the original buildings to evince their former magnificence, and the noble Gateway, which is nearly entire, forms a fine object from the town; it is a large square building, with an octagonal tower at each corner, and from the elegant style of its architecture is supposed to have been erected in the fifteenth century. A grand hall, now used as a barn, 166 feet long, and 35 wide, is also in good preservation, although much more ancient than any other part of the building. The Abbey is delightfully situated on a gentle eminence, commanding a most extensive view of woods and fertile valleys, bounded by the sea.
The parish Church, which was formerly collegiate, and the incumbent of which is still called Dean of Battle, is an ancient and handsome edifice, with a good tower, and several painted windows; it contains many monuments and brasses of great antiquity. A considerable quantity of gunpowder is manufactured at the mills near this town, and its quality is said to be superior to that of every other place, except Dartford. A Market, granted by Henry I, was held here every Sunday until after the Reformation, when the day was altered to Thursday. Here are also three annual Fairs. Near Battle is Beacon Hill, formerly called Standard Hill, where the Conqueror is said to have planted his standard previously to the battle of Hastings.
BEXHILL is a small town, about six miles from Hastings, on the Brighton road, with a good Church, which, from its situation on an eminence overlooking the sea, has a commanding appearance. Here is also a Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, and a National School; and in the vicinity Barracks were erected during the late war. The population of this town, in 1821, was 1900.
BIGNOR, a village about six miles from Petworth, is situated near the Roman road from Chichester to Dorking, and one of the most beautiful specimens of mosaic work ever met with in this country was discovered here in 1811. It consists of three distinct pavements, supposed to have adorned the like number of apartments in a Roman villa; the largest is 31 feet by 30, and has in its centre a vapour bath; the other two are smaller; and all are adorned with various representations, depicted in the most vivid colours. Many fragments of pottery, bricks, &c. have also been found here; and sheds have been erected on the ancient walls of the villa, to protect these valuable relics from the injuries of the weather.
Mrs. Charlotte Smith was born at Bignor, and very early in life married a man whose subsequent conduct occasioned her an infinite degree of suffering. As a means of support for her family she had recourse to her pen, and produced a number of novels, which were popular in their day, but most of which have since been superseded in the public favour; several volumes of poetry, possessing a very high degree of merit; and many works for the improvement of children and youth. After the loss of several of her offspring, and a variety of other calamities, this highly-gifted woman expired in October, 1806, at Tilford, near Farnham, and was interred in the church of Stoke-next-Guildford, where an elegant tablet has been erected to her memory, and that of two of her sons, who died in the West Indies.
BODIHAM CASTLE, near the village of the same name, on the river Rother, is, even in its present ruined state, a magnificent pile, and is supposed to have been erected in the fourteenth century by one of the family of Dalyngrige, then of great consequence in the county. After passing to many owners, it is at present the property of Sir Godfrey Webster. It is encompassed by a stagnant moat, and is nearly square, with a round tower at each angle, gates in the north and south fronts, and a square tower in the centre of the east and west sides. The great gateway is still very grand, and is flanked by two towers, adorned with escutcheons of arms, and the portcullis still entire. The northern and southern walls are 150 feet in length, and the eastern and western, 165 feet. Many remains of the Chapel, Hall, &c. may yet be distinguished; and the mouldering walls and rugged towers of this venerable structure, mantled with ivy, produce a picturesque and pleasing effect. On the north side is a very remarkable echo.
BOGNOR, now one of the most fashionable watering places on this coast, less than fifty years ago was known only as a resort for smugglers and fishermen. It owes its rise to Sir Richard Hotham, a retired hatter, formerly of Southwark, who made it his summer residence, and taking advantage of the passion for resorting to the sea-side, which about that time became very prevalent, he purchased the site of the village, and erected the greater part of the elegant buildings which now form the town. They consist of several detached rows, terraces, &c. and are so contrived as to have the appearance of gentlemen's villas; they extend over a surface of at least a mile in extent, and comprise a Chapel, Hotel, Subscription-room, Library, and Baths: The Crescent is a superb habitation, containing many elegant apartments, and crowned by a handsome dome, from whence the prospect is extensive and magnificent. Bognor is much frequented in the season, by visitors of a more select class than those of some other watering-places; and its fine situation, pure air, and the charming walks and rides in its neighbourhood, entitle it to at least an equal share of patronage with any of the fashionable resorts on this coast. Its population is not correctly ascertained. It is 70 miles from London, and about eight from Chichester,
BoxGROVE, a village about five miles from Chichester, had formerly a Priory, founded in the reign of Henry I, by Robert de Haye; at the Dissolution it shared the common fate; some small portions of its buildings, converted into dwelling-houses, now remain, as does the greater part of the Church, which is still extensive, consisting of a nave, aisles, transepts, and chancel, and contains several ancient tombs, but without figures or inscriptions. One of them is said to cover the remains of Queen Adeliza; and two of her daughters, by her second husband, the Earl of Arundel, are interred here. In this venerable building are also some modern monuments, the most remarkable of which is that of the Countess of Derby, who was celebrated for her charity, and died, in her 85th year, in 1752. She is represented sitting under an oak, relieving distressed objects, and pointing to an Hospital founded by her in 1741, in this parish, " for the habitation and support of poor aged and infirm women, the maintenance of a schoolmaster, and the education of poor boys and girls, to be chosen out of this and the adjoining parishes.” The Hospital is well-built, and contains a good schoolroom and lodgings for the master in the centre, and twelve apartments on each side for the women.
BRAMBER, which was once of sufficient consequence to give its name to the Rape in which it is situated, is now a mean village, with 25 houses and 98 inhabitants, but still possesses the privilege of returning two Members to Parliament, who are elected (if the term may be so applied) by about 36 persons, tenants of the Duke of Rutland and Lord Calthorpe. The ruins of a strong and extensive Castle afford the only evidence of the ancient consequence of this place. They are situated on an emidence, commanding a fine view of the surrounding country; but when the building was erected, or when destroyed, is equally uncertain. The Church, dedicated to St. Nicholas, is near the Castle, and is a venerable structure, partly overgrown with ivy, and formerly more extensive than at present; the date of its erection is unknown. Bramber is about one mile from Steyning.
BRIGHTLING Down, on the road from Tunbridge Wells to East Bourne, and about 16 miles from each, is 646 feet above the level of the sea, and commands a most extensive and beautiful panoramic view; in a clear day the cliffs at Boulogne are plainly discernible from this spot.
BRIGHTON, OR BRIGHTHELMSTONE, Is the largest and most populous town in the county, and its rapid increase affords a surprising instance of the magical power of Fashion in transforming a mean fishing village into an extensive, handsome, and thickly-peopled town. About the middle of the last century its existence was scarcely known beyond the bounds of the county; in 1801 it numbered 7399 inhabitants; in 1811 they had increased to more than 12,000; in 1821 to 24,422; and although the present number is not ascertained, there can be little risk of