Page:Highways and Byways in Sussex.djvu/220

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CHAPTER XX


THE DEVIL'S DYKE AND HURSTPIERPOINT


Sussex and Leith Hill—The Dyke hill—Two recollections—Bustard hunting on the Downs—The Queen of the gipsies—The Devil in Sussex—The feeble legend of the Dyke—Poynings—Newtimber—Pyecombe and shepherds' crooks—A Patcham smuggler—Wolstonbury—Danny—An old Sussex diary—Fish-culture in the past—Thomas Marchant's Sunday head-aches—Albourne and Bishop Juxon—Twineham and Squire Stapley—Zoological remedies—How to make oatmeal pudding.


Had the hill above the Devil's Dyke—for the Dyke itself wins only a passing glance—been never popularised, thousands of Londoners, and many of the people of Brighton, would probably never have seen the Weald from any eminence at all. The view is bounded north and west only by hills: on the north by the North Downs, with Leith Hill standing forward, as if advancing to meet a southern champion, and in the west, Blackdown, Hind Head and the Hog's Back. The patchwork of the Weald is between. The view from the Dyke Hill, looking north, is comparable to that from Leith Hill, looking south; and every day in fine weather there are tourists on both of these altitudes gazing towards each other. The worst slight that Sussex ever had to endure, so far as my reading goes, is in Hughson's London ... and its Neighbourhood, 1808, where the view from Leith Hill is described. After stating that the curious stranger on the summit "feels sensations as we may suppose Adam to have felt when he instantaneously burst into existence and the beauties of Eden struck his all-wondering eyes," Mr. Hughson describes the prospect. "It