Page:Highways and Byways in Sussex.djvu/335

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CHAPTER XXXIII


HEATHFIELD AND THE "LIES."


The two Heathfields—Heathfield Park—"Hefful" Fair and the spring—The death of Jack Cade—Warbleton's martyr—Three "lies" and all true—An ecclesiastical confection—The bloodthirsty Colonel Lunsford—Halland—Tarble Down—Breeches Wood—Mr. Thomas Turner's diary—Laughton—Chiddingly's inhospitable fane—The Jefferay cheese—A devoted campanologist—Hellingly—Hailsham.


There are two Heathfields: the old village, with its pleasant Sussex church and ancient cottages close to the park gates; and the new brick and slate town that has gathered round the station and the natural gas-works. The park lies between the two, remarkable among Sussex parks for the variety of its trees and the unusual proportion of them. The spacious lawns which are characteristic of the parks in the south, here, on Heathfield's sandy undulations, give place to heather, fern and trees. I never remember to have seen a richer contrast of greens than in early spring, looking west from the house, between the masses of dark evergreens that had borne the rigours of the winter and the young leaves just breaking through. Heathfield's park is, I think, the loveliest in Sussex, lying as it does on a southern slope, with its opulence of foliage, its many rushing burns (the source of the Cuckmere), its hidden ravines and deep silent tarns, and its wonderful view of the Downs and the sea. The park once belonged to the Dacres of Hurstmonceaux, whom we are about to meet. Traces of the original house, dating probably from Henry VII.'s reign, are still to be seen in