The oldest Norman church in Sussex

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Posted 09 Mar 2011 in Daft, Observations

Me, Ant and Dan went up to the South Downs at the weekend for a bit of film-making, a pub lunch and a scoot around Devil’s Dyke on Ant’s new moped. We mooched up there mid morning, with Brighton still in its winter doldrums – chilly and grey. By the time we got to Bramber castle, we were in the midst of what felt increasingly like Sussex’s first legitimate spring day; a kind of mellow haze resting over the landscape, breached and gradually dominated by a dazzling blue sky and, between gusts of chill wind, stabs of warmth. We sat on the ruined walls of the castle then strolled around St Nicholas’ chapel, a neat, Norman church dating back to 1073, and hovered by the porch chatting.

Then, up on the dyke, we struggled with Ant’s new moped, and I fell heroically from it into a patch of cold mud on my first and only spin. It was oddly invigorating, but perhaps only because no harm was done. I wiped my hands down on a grassy verge and studied my palms on the drive home, the caked mud exposing the complexity of principal lines, ridges and wrinkles. The view from Devil’s Dyke, lest you forget, is utterly dazzling, from the Clayton windmills to the cricket pitch at Poynings, from the fringes of Ashdown Forest to the hill fort at Chanctonbury Ring. But I like the view back home just as much, in different ways – Brighton glowing orange, nestling between the A27 and the sea.

Incidentally – I attended Pecha Kucha in Brighton on Saturday night, and heard for the first time of Pegasaurus books, which is a new publishing start up specialising in books by and for Sussex residents. They’ve only published a couple of books thus far, but they’ve published an Eco Guide to Sussex and an anthology of local poetry. I’ve not seen the actual books yet, but they might be worth a look. More info here.

Here are a couple of photos from the Dyke – blue sky and white.

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