It’s impossible to ignore the presence of the two prominent Grade-II listed stone gateposts when driving south on the A23. For millions of visitors coming from London, Crawley, or any other town north of this seaside haven, passing through the two towering pylons has become a custom of sorts when entering the city.
However, few people know that hidden in the overgrowth at the foot of the west Pylon, there is a specific and purposeful message embossed on the limestone. It reads:
“HAIL GUEST• WE ASK NOT WHAT THOU ART. IF FRIEND. WE GREET THEE. HAND & HEART:IF STRANGER. SUCH NO LONGER BE: IF FOE. OUR LOVE SHALL CONQUER THEE.”
The pylons were crafted by local architect John Leopold Denman and were commissioned by Sir Herbert Carden. The purpose of these imposing entrance markers was to welcome all to the quiet seaside community.
In 1999, the pylons were officially listed as a Grade II historical location by the English Heritage Trust.
Know Before You Go
Visitors are also likely to be completely unaware that each pylon offers a bench welcoming all visitors to rest. These too are Grade-II listed.