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  THE STORY OF SHOREHAM           NEW ERRINGHAIVI      
                             
openings with stonework still in situ, one of which is shown in the inset of our drawing on page 51.   New Erringham House stands in the valley north-east of Old Erringham. It was at one time a Coaching Inn on the road from Brighton to Horsham and London, which crossed the Downs  
Some restoration seems to have taken place early in the 18th century, as the date " 1710 " may be seen on a stone built into the projecting chimney at the south end.    
                   
      Picture    
The chapel referred to by Sir William Burrell (of which there is also a water-colour in the British Museum) is, without doubt, a relic of the -Middle Ages. It is part only-the chancel-of a larger building, and in dry weather the lines of the nave foundations are quite easy to trace.   The east window of two lights, partly blocked, belongs to the Transitional period and two small Norman openings yet remain in the north and south walls, the original stonework, still in good preservation.          
Mr. A. Stanley Cooke, in " Off the Beaten Track in Sussex," recording his visit some years ago to the chapel at Erringham, mentions that he noticed " the remains of a holy-water stoup and piscina" (no trace of either of these features can now be found), and that the building was then known to the farm-hands as the synagogue !          
It is, perhaps, quite natural that such a spot as Old Erringham should enshrine the legend of a ghost-a headless lady, who was wont to wander about in the evening twilight " wringing her hands," presumably in search of, but unable to find, the lost head. This apparition-real or imagined-said to haunt the Shaw and its neighbourhood, must have served as a valuable ally of the old-time smugglers, who were wont to conceal their contraband merchandise at Erringham and suchlike out-of -theway places.          
The restless spirit of the headless lady, was probably the means of preventing the intrusion of the too-curious into the abode of a more tangible and fiery spirit, brought from overseas, in handy and convenient tubs.In these days, or nights, we are told, she seldom appears. Possibly with the decline of smuggling, she retired from the ghostly business, or her nightly search may at last have been rewarded by the discovery of the missing head, and her wandering spirit found " a well-earned rest."          
                   
The usual wild and incoherent stories of underground passages are told at Erringham. One is supposed to connect the house with the chapel, and another, described to the writer as " a submarine passage," to lead direct from the cellars to the sea, a distance of two miles !                    
    hard by. This Brighton-London road was one of the most frequented in old coaching days and is marked on Richard Budgen's Map, 1724. It left Brighton by way of the Old Shoreham Road, which it followed for some distance, diverting
                             
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Copyright © Martin Snow 2002 All rights reserved
Revised 27 February 2002