Wanderings in Wessex eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 332 pages of information about Wanderings in Wessex.
left from the church are some ancient cottages.  On one of the chimneys will be seen the date 1570 and a motto:  “God giveth all.”  Not far away is the entrance to Stedcombe, a house designed by Inigo Jones, which replaced an older building destroyed in the Civil War.  Bindon, the home of Sir Walter Erle, a famous officer of the Parliamentary army, is about a mile from the village in the direction of the Landslip.  It is a fine sixteenth-century mansion, now a farmhouse, a chapel attached to which is more than a hundred years older than the original building.


A road by the east bank of the Axe leads in a mile to Seaton, which is at the actual Axe mouth.  This is a town almost without a history, although it still makes the not-proven assertion that it is the site of Moridunum.  Some years ago the townsmen, with the idea that the label is the principal thing, stuck the word along the Esplanade wall in letters of black flint.  Although the claim is not an impossible one, the probabilities point to the junction of the two great roads, the Fosse Way and the Icknield Way, near Honiton, as being the actual site of the Roman station.  The remains of a villa of this period, together with various relics, pottery and coins, were found sometime ago at a place called Hannaditches just outside the town, so that the ubiquitous Latins were at any rate here.

Seaton is quite a different town to Lyme; it has practically no ancient buildings and the few old cob cottages that made up the original village have entirely disappeared.  A “restoration” of the church in 1866 destroyed most of the old features, including a beautiful screen.  The main fabric belongs to the Decorated period with some Perpendicular additions and very scanty remains of the original Early English building.  The hagioscope in the chancel appears as a window in the outer wall.  The Perpendicular tower replaces an older erection on the south side, of which the base alone remains.  A flat gravestone in the churchyard has the following curious inscription:—­


  Starre on Hie
  Where should a Starre be
  But on Hie? 
  Tho underneath
  He now doth lie
  Sleepinge in Dust
  Yet shall he rise
  More glorious than
  The Starres in skies


The main streets of the town are pleasant enough, though most of the houses are small and of the usual lodging-house type.  Seaton depends for its deserved popularity upon its open position, in which it differs from most Devon and Dorset resorts; its bracing air, due to the wide expanse of the Axe valley, and above all to the beautiful surrounding country.  Treasure hunts along the beach for garnets and beryls are among the excitements of a fortnight in Seaton.

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Wanderings in Wessex from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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