Page:Highways and Byways in Sussex.djvu/266

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238
CH. XXV
MALLING DEANERY

To Destroy Pismiers or Ants About a Tree.

Ye shall take of the saw-dust of Oke-wood oney, and straw that al about the tree root, and the next raine that doth come, all the Pismiers or Ants shall die there. For Earewigges, shooes stopt with hay, and hanged on the tree one night, they come all in.

For to have Rath Medlars Two Months Before Others.

For to have Medlars two months sooner than others and the one shall be better far than the other, ye shall graffe them upon a gooseberry tree, and also a franke mulberry tree, and before ye do graffe them, ye shall wet them in hay, and then graffe them.

To return to the line, for the excursion to Plumpton has taken us far from the original route, the next station to Newick and Chailey is Barcombe Mills, a watery village on the Ouse. The river valley contracts as Lewes is reached, with Malling Hill on the east and Offham Hill on the west: both taking their names from two of the quaint little hamlets by which Lewes is surrounded. It was at Mailing Deanery that the assassins of Thomas à Becket sought shelter on their flight from Canterbury. The legend records how, when they laid their armour on the Deanery table, that noble piece of furniture rose and flung the accursed accoutrements to the ground.

On Malling Hill is the residence of a Lewes lady whose charitable impulses have taken a direction not common among those who suffer for others. She receives into her stable old and overworked horses, thus ensuring for them a sleek and peaceful dotage enlivened by sugar and carrots, and marked by the kindest consideration. The pyramidal grave (as of a Saxon chief) of one of these dependants may be seen from the road.