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Littlehampton, Sussex

Historical Description

Littlehampton, a seaport town and a parish in Sussex. The town, which is rapidly increasing, stands at the mouth of the river Arun, with a station on the L.B. & S.C.R., 60 miles from London, and 4 S by E of Arundel. It has a post, money order, and telegraph office. Acreage of the civil parish, 925; population 4452; of the ecclesiastical, 4455. A battle was fought here or in the near neighbourhood in 837 between Wulfherd and certain Danish pirates, and the Empress Matilda landed here in 1139 on her way to Arundel Castle. Littlehampton was anciently the haven of Arundel, and was made the head port of Arundel and the seat of the custom-house. Its trade as a port is considerable. Its harbour has a pier and jetties, and a depth of 18 or 20 feet at high water spring tides. A lighthouse was erected at the entrance in 1848. The number of vessels registered as belonging to the port in 1894 was 20 (2294 tons). The entries and clearances each average 450 (35,000 tons) per annum. A seaman's rest was opened by the Duke of Norfolk in 1893, and a pleasure fair is held on 26 May, while a regatta and athletic sports are held annually, and attract a large concourse of spectators. The town has also come into favour as a watering-place, is recommended for those afflicted with asthma and diseases of the throat, and possesses good advantages of retirement, salubrity, mild climate, rural environs, and a fine beach-the latter merging into sands, dry at low water, and so firm that carriages may travel on them to Worthing. The town has a theatre, two halls, two banks, several good hotels, a parish church, two dissenting chapels, and a Roman Catholic chapel. New town offices were erected in 1894. There are a good golf club and a social club. The parish church was rebuilt in 1826, and is in the Pointed style. A new chancel and side chapel were added in 1892. The church has a fine stained glass E window representing our Lord in Glory, the Virgin Mary, and the four archangels. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Chichester; value, £150. Patron, the Bishop of Chichester. The Wesleyan chapel was built in 1825. The Congregational chapel was built in 1861, and is in the Early Decorated English style. The Roman Catholic chapel, which was built in 1864 at the expense of the Duchess of Norfolk, includes church and presbytery, and is in the Decorated English style.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountySussex 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Littlehampton from the following:


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Newspapers and Periodicals

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CountyWest Sussex
RegionSouth East
Postal districtBN17
Post TownLittlehampton