Page:Notes on the churches in the counties of Kent, Sussex, and Surrey.djvu/29

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From the defective notice in Domesday Book of various parishes (some of which are populous places at the present day) in the Weald, compared with the fuller description of lands lying on the northern side of the county, it is manifest that the former district stood far lower than the latter in general estimation at the period of the Domesday Survey: the necessary result, in fact, of its situation within the great forest of Anderida (farther spoken of in the Note on Limpne, and under the county of Sussex), with a wet, tenacious soil, that portion too immediately below the central range of hills being too flat to possess much natural drainage, so that the roads were rendered practicable during the winter for the horses, upon whose backs alone all heavy goods could be conveyed, only by paved tracks at the sides. In the miry parts of the Weald of Kent, and the same statement doubtless would apply to similar portions of Sussex, wheel carriages were not generally, because they could not be, used, except on the principal lines of road, until a very recent period. Long within my own recollection the cross roads in some districts of Kent were utterly impassable during the winter; and, as I have witnessed, if a miller, for example, wished to deliver goods down one of these lanes, he would exchange his horse's harness for a packsaddle, and, leaving his cart by the side of the turnpike road, he would load the saddle with his flour-sacks and himself, thus resorting to the same mode of conveyance used for ages previously. The tracks, for such alone were many of those bye lanes, which occasionally