Thursday, 25 September 2014
The recent trip to Sussex was filled with delights - not just the visit to the the Towner Gallery in Eastbourne and a visit to Furlongs (more of this another time), but an idle interlude exploring the exquisite village of Firle which is nestled in the heart of the Sussex Downs did not disappoint.
The days events were pretty much in the hands of my good friend Demus and I am pleased he knew I would appreciate this delightful village. Not just for the Ravilious and Charleston connections, but just the sheer simplicity and attractiveness of the place.
A very fine lunch in The Ram Inn with a couple of pints of Harveys finest Lewes ales was just the ticket before a gentle stroll around the village and extremities of Firle Place estate. I was more than interested to hear about the Gage family who own the estate as Sir Thomas Gage (1781-1820) was a horticulturalist who introduced the greengage plum to the British Isles. The labels on the trees he brought back from the monks at Chartreuse were lost and the fruit was subsequently named greengage after Thomas.
The 13th Century St Peter's Church which is surrounded by east Anglianesque flinted walls contains a large stained glass window by John Piper depicting Blake's Tree of Life.
After filling our pockets with conkers it was time to wend our way, but I have a feeling I will return..........there is much to explore in this lovely fold of the Sussex Downs.