John “Mad Jack” Fuller was an eccentric Georgian squire who built a number of follies in some of the highest and most attractive countryside in the South of England. Your guide for this fascinating day out will be Mark, who will introduce you to the life and times of this larger-than-life character, who became known as the “Squire of Brightling”. Our tour will take you to some of Fuller’s follies, including the Sugar Loaf and Brightling Needle, and ends at Brightling Church. Mad Jack lies buried in the churchyard in a bizarre 25-feet tall pyramid he had built 24 years before he died! There will be stops for refreshment (cost not included). To get the most out of the tour, a small amount of walking will be required so we recommend walking shoes.
Playwrite, performer and heritage interpreter Lance Woodman works at and has a keen interest in Bodiam Castle. He has gathered long out of print texts and, "offers them side-by-side in a modern typescript with introductions that set them in context.
A Graphical and Historical Sketch of Bodyam Castle by William Cotton, 1831.
Bodiam and its Lords, by Mark Antony Lower, 1871.
Mediaeval Military Architecture in England, Vol. 1., by George Thomas Clark, 1884.
Bodiam Castle, Sussex: A Historical & Descriptive Survey, by George Nathaniel Curzon, 1926.
The texts themselves are well worth reading, but Woodman's insights, passion for the subject and view of the big picture that makes this compendium a standout.
Source: The Bell News and Ringers Record Vol III, 5/4/1884 - 28/3/1885, p 103
Fuller wished to celebrate the victories of the Duke of Wellington by gifting this peal of bells to home Brightling church. They are still rung regularly by the dedicated bellringers of the village.
The Battle of Salamanca was fought on 22 July 1812 in Spain; The Battle of the Pyrenees lasted from 25 July to 2 August 1813 on the Spain/France border, and Wellington's decisive victory over Napoleon took place at Waterloo in Belgium on the 18th of June 1815.
Some of the spellings given here vary from those of the places where Wellington's battles occurred. Tallavera = Battle of Talavera, Spain (27-28 July 1809); Vittoria = Battle of Vitoria, Spain (21 June 1813); and Orthes = Battle of Orthez, France (27 Feb 1814). I have not seen the actual inscriptions on the bells so I cannot confirm which spellings were used there. The 1979 Brightling Church Guide, written by Diana Boyd, mistakenly gives the name "Trattoria" instead of "Tallavera".
In 1822, two years before the RNLI was founded, Fuller funded the first lifeboat at Eastbourne. The "Samaritan" or "Rose" as she was variously called, performed her first service on 21 February 1833 rescuing 29 people from the "Isabella" a West Indiaman that, when en route to Madiera and Demerara, got caught in a storm off the Sussex shore.
Fast forward to 2019 and MP for Eastbourne Stephen Lloyd presents the lifeboat station with a cheque to help continue the operation that Fuller started.
'Donation to Eastbourne RNLI:
Good to swing around to the Eastbourne RNLI Station today and drop off a £200 cheque. Whenever I get paid for speeches or interviews I ensure the cheques are made out to local charities - and you can’t get much better than our own, much loved lifeboat service!
They reminded me that last year was there busiest ever with 174 call-outs for the inshore and out-shore boats. That’s one busy Station.......
Thank you Mark (coxswain) Carl (ops manager) - and all your dedicated crew and colleagues for the work you do. You are a credit to our town, and the RNLI.
That’s it. Have a good Sunday folks. It’s a glorious sunny day in Eastbourne; a bit nippy perhaps, but ideal for a stroll along our beautiful seafront.'
Stephen Lloyd MP's Facebook Post, Sunday 20 January 2019.