Devils Dyke

At the turn of the 7th century, the last pagan kingdom in Britain, Sussex, was beginning to convert to Christianity due to the efforts of St Cuthman of Steyning. The Devil, however, was infuriated by this, and sought to drown the people of Sussex for abandoning him. He decided to dig a huge river from the English channel to the Sussex mainland. St Cuthman heard of this however, and sought to stop the devil. So, he proposed a wager to the Devil. If he completed the river by sunrise, then He could have St Cuthman’ s soul. If however, the devil failed to build the river by sunrise, the devil would leave Sussex alone. The devil took him up on the wager, believing there was no way he could loose. So the devil began to dig. He dug fast and hard, spewing out mountains of earth behind him. These became the peaks of Cissbury ring, Chanctonbury ring, Firle beacon and mount Caburn. St Cuthman watched in horror as the devil dug a trench so deep and wide it almost went down to hell. So he devised a clever plan. He went to a nearby house and lit a candle, which let out a bright shinning light. This shinning light woke up a local Cockrell, which let out crow. The Devil, hearing this noise, looked over his shoulder and saw the bright burning light. Believing it to be the sun, he ran of, cursing St Cuthman and the kingdom of Sussex. As he left, however, he smashed a chunk of land of the coast, creating the isle of white.

 

 

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