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  An Illustrated Guide to Crowborough by Boys Firmin
published by The Hansard Publishing Union Ltd in 1890
Note
Excludes chapters V and part of Chapter VI
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Our next drive, or ramble, will be over the Beacon Hill. The road to the Beacon runs past Christ Church, Free Church of England, Crowborough House, Prospect House, and the Highlands, on the right. On the left is a beautifully situated boardinghouse, Belle Vue; and beyond, at various distances, several private residences, two observatories, and a lodging-house, lately built.

On the right, upon the summit of the hill, is the entrance gate to the Warren, a beautiful estate, abounding in romantic glades and woods. There are also in the valley several pieces of water surrounded by graceful foliage. These, with hill and vale, combine by their variety and beauty to delight the lover of natural scenery, and to exercise a talismanic influence over him. A fuller description of this charming estate will be given when mention is made of the attractive spots of the neighbourhood.

In a field close by this entrance gate to the Warren may be seen a stone slab let into the turf, which indicates the spot where the beacon fires were lighted to signal inland to other beacons the approach of any danger, such as an invasion or the appearance of an enemy. Huge piles of wood were kept on the spot ready to be lighted at any instant upon the alarm signal from some other height. The last occasion upon which all the beacons were lighted as danger signals was upon the appearance of the ships of the Spanish Armada, in 1588.

Continuing along the Beacon Road, some cottages and an old inn are passed, and we arrive at the Common. Just at this spot a delightful residence is situated, called Beacon House, from which one of the finest panoramic views in the county is to be seen.

Crowborough Common is one of the chief attractions of the village. Notwithstanding the many encroachments made upon it, it is still an extensive open space, covered with heather and gorse, and studded with many brilliant-coloured wild flowers. The air is pure and invigorating - every inspiration of it is a tonic. The road runs straight on across the Common to Uckfield, Maresfield, and Lewes.

We will turn to the left for a short distance over the Common, and then, leaving it behind, wend our way to South View. A little way on this road we come to a bye-road on the right; let us go down this road to visit the finest spring in Crowborough, known as Lord's Well. There is no authentic account of the reason of the application of this name, though imagination has been busy in attaching a legend to it, viz., that after a battle between Britons and Saxons at Slaughterham Ghyll, on the Common just below, the chiefs assembled at this spring to settle the terms of an armistice. The name Slaughterham Ghyll may have suggested such a possibility. It appears to me to be more probable that it should derive its name from the lord of the manor.

Retracing our steps, we pass some cottages and a chapel, and get into the main road again, near the grocery stores of Mr. Deeprose, in the wall of which shop is a postal box. On the right and left, as we proceed, are several houses and cottages until we reach Trunches Corner, where four roads meet. The one on the left leads to the Cross; on the right is the way to White Hill, and the one in front of us, called Myrtle Road, leads to the village green, or, as it is generally called, Chapel Green. Here is situated the parish church, All Saints, and the vicarage. This church has no traditional history beyond that of the original building having been erected by Sir H. Fermor, Bart, The old chapel was too small for the accommodation of the increased number of parishioners; it had also by decay become unfit for use as a place of public worship. After it had been separated from the Charity and handed over to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, it was pulled down, and the present building erected by subscription in 1882. Unfortunately, from a sentimental desire to preserve the old tower, the opportunity was lost of erecting an imposing architectural building. The space not allowing room for a structure of fine proportions without the removal of the tower, we have now a church nearly as broad as it is long, with no decoration to compensate for the want of elegant symmetry. This will not, however, disturb the manes of Sir H. Fermor.

There is a charm in the situation of the church, and the distant views seen from it must call forth the admiration of anyone having the slightest appreciation of beauty in nature.

Going up Church Road, in the direction of the Beacon, we take the first turning to the right, and so wend our way back to the Cross.

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