Alfred the Great once had a park. The church is a very interesting and graceful specimen of early English architecture, dating from the 13th century. A hundred and more years ago water from a chalybeate spring on the common was drunk by Sussex people for rheumatism and other ills; but the spring has lost its fame. The village could not well be more out of the movement, yet an old lady living in the neighbourhood who, when about to visit London for the first time, was asked what she expected to find, replied, "Well, I can't exactly tell, but I suppose something like the more bustling part of Ditchling." A kindred story is told of a Sussex man who, finding himself in London for the first time, exclaimed with astonishment—"What a queer large place! Why, it ain't like Newick and it ain't like Chailey."
Old House at Ditchling.
On Ditchling Common are the protected remains of a stake known as Jacob's Post. A stranger requested to supply this piece of wood with the origin of its label would probably adventure long before hitting upon the right tack; for Jacob,