Thursday, June 06, 2013

The Landscapes of East Sussex by David Sellman & Rupert Taylor

Published by Countryside Books (Nov 10 2000)

In the chapter called Commanding the Rother a description of Bodiam Castle mentions John "Mad Jack" Fuller and his ownership of this much photographed landmark:

"But the arrow slits, cannon ports and 'murder holes' (through which missiles could be dropped through the cieling on attackers) were never used in anger.  The castle fell into decay and was rescued in 1829 by 'Mad Jack' Fuller of Brightling when a Hastings builder planned to demolish it, and was then restored by two later owners, George Cubitt and Lord Curzon who presented it to the nation.  Under the care of the National Trust is is now a breathtaking if incongruous part of the landscape. The moat is fed by springs and the water is certainly purer now than in medieval times - there are no fewer than 28 garderobes or latrines at Bodiam, each with a drain shaft to the moat. "

There is an error in the section about Heathfield Park in which the authors confuse a noted local diarist with a famed landscape painter:

"The view south they may or may not have noticed. But it has barely changed since Thomas Turner painted The Vale of Heathfield two centuries ago."

Thomas Turner (1729 -1793) was a shopkeeper in East Hoathly, Sussex whose eleven year diary makes interesting reading and provides insight into life in an Eighteenth Century village. Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851) was commissioned by Jack Fuller to paint views of Sussex, which included The Vale of Heathfield (1815), The Vale of Ashburnham, Brightling Observatory from Rosehill Park, The Vale of Pevensey and Battle Abbey, the Spot Where Harold Fell. 

The Vale of Heathfield - 1815
The Vale of Heathfield by JMW Turner

No comments: