Page:Highways and Byways in Sussex.djvu/325

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BUXTED DEER


Leper Fidge Backfield
Handshut Beatup Breathing
Juglery Rougehead Whiskey
Hollowbone Punch Wildgoose
Stillborne Padge Ann.

Almost every name here would have pleased Dickens, while some might have been invented by him, notably Fidge and Padge. One can almost see Mr. Fidge and Mr. Padge drolling it in his pages.

From the Maresfield rocks Buxted is easily reached, about a mile due east; but a far prettier approach is through Buxted Park, which is gained by a footpath out of Uckfield's main street. The charm of Buxted is its deer. Sussex, as we have seen, is rich in parks containing deer, but I know of none other where one may be so certain of coming close to these beautiful creatures. Nor can I recall any other deer that are so exquisitely dappled; but that may be because the Buxted deer were the first I ever saw, thirty years ago, and we like to think the first the best. Certainly they are the friendliest, or least timid. The act of going to church is invested at Buxted with an almost unique attraction, since the deer lie hard by the path. Indeed, the last time I went to church at Buxted I never passed through the door at all, but sat on a gravestone throughout the service and watched the herd in its graceful restlessness. That was twelve years ago. The other day I watched them again and could see no change. Some of the stags were still as of old almost bowed beneath their antlers, although one at any rate was free, for a keeper who passed carried a pair of horns in his hand.

The old house at the beginning of the footpath to the church, with a hog in bas-relief on its façade, is known as the Hog House, and is said to have been the residence of Ralph Hogge. Who was Ralph Hogge? Who is Hiram Maxim? Who was Krupp? Who was Nordenfelt? It was Ralph Hogge,