Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

A Prince Of Denmark

The story goes that the leader of a Viking raid (or a "prince of Denmark" as my guide rather sweetly put it) got captured by the Saxons and was treated so well by them that he converted to Christianity- and- more than that- became an anchorite, living in walled up cell attached to the little church of St John-sub-Castro in Lewes.

The Saxon church was demolished in the mid-19th century to make way for the existing great barn of a place, but an antiquarian rescued the anchorite's memorial and placed it- partially restored- on the south wall of the new church, in an artistic arrangement that also features a medieval grave slab.

The inscription (courtesy of Wikipedia) reads...

"Clauditur hic miles Danorum regia proles Mangnus nomen ei mangne nota progeniei; deponens mangnum se moribus induit agnum, prepete pro vita fit parvulus anachorita",

Which- minus the clever wordplay of the original- translates as

"There enters this cell a warrior of Denmark's royal race; Magnus his name, mark of mighty lineage. Casting off his Mightiness he takes the Lamb's mildness, and to gain everlasting life becomes a lowly anchorite"

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