UK Genealogy Archives logo

Newhaven, Sussex

Historical Description

Newhaven, a town and a parish in Sussex. The town stands on the coast, at the mouth of the river Ouse, and has a station on the L.B. & S.C.R., 56 miles from London, and 8¼ESE of Brighton. It has a post, money order, and telegraph office. Acreage of parish, 933; population, 4522. Newhaven was anciently called Meeching; took its present name when the river was diverted from Seaford into a new straight line entering the sea here; was once a market-town; was the landing-place of Louis Philippe and his queen on their flight from Paris in 1848, and here they stayed for several days at the Bridge Hotel, the bedroom occupied by them being still intact. Newhaven has acquired importance as a port for continental traffic, and as a point of steam communication with Dieppe and Caen. The following lines of steamers also run to and from the port:-Transatlantique from St Nazaire, Clyde Shipping Company, and an Italian line from Palermo. Newhaven derives consequence from being the best port between Portsmouth and the Downs, and an eligible place for a harbour of refuge; and has a railway station at the steam wharf, a large hotel built by the railway company adjacent to the wharf, two banks, custom-house, and coastguard station. The church stands on an eminence; consists of nave, aisles, and chancel, with an E tower and low shingled spire; has a chancel apse of Norman or Anglo-Saxon date, similar to that of Yainville-sur-Scine; has been restored and enlarged; and has in the aisles Pointed windows of flint, with Caen stone dressings. The churchyard contains an obelisk to the memory of Capt. Hanson and 104 officers and men who were lost in the wreck of the Brazen sloop-of-war on the Ave Rocks in 1800. There is an extensive brewery, well known for its Tipper Ale, two shipbuilding yards, and steam flour-mills. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Chichester; gross value, £240 with residence. Christ Church, a chapel of ease, erected in 1881, is a brick building in the Early English style. There are several chapels for dissenters.

Much stir exists in connection with the passenger traffic to Dieppe, as many persons going from London to Paris prefer this route on account of its directness, regularity, and cheapness, and for sake also of the beauty of the scenery from Dieppe to Paris. A considerable coasting trade is done inward in coals, corn, timber, and other commodities-outward in flints for the Staffordshire potteries; and a comparatively large foreign import trade is carried on in wines, spirits, silk, and French goods. The port ranks seventh in the kingdom for value of imports. The number of vessels registered as belonging to the port in 1895 was 25 (4400 tons). The entries and clearances each average 2000 (430,000 tons) per annum. The harbour is at the entrance to the river Ouse, at the NW extremity of Seaford Bay, and close to Burrow Head. It has been very much improved and enlarged of late years, and includes two piers and breakwater; the quays are about a mile in length, and are well provided with steam and hydraulic cranes and other machinery for loading and unloading cargoes, and is lighted by electricity. A new quay, half a mile in length, was constructed in 1895. There is also a massive breakwater about three-quarters of a mile long, built of concrete, with a lighthouse at the end. There is a large decked gridiron adjacent to the quay for examining ships' bottoms and executing repairs. A special quay was opened in 1886 for passengers using the continental services. The customhouse is well situated at the railway quay, where the steamers arrive. Castle Hill, at the west entrance of the harbour, is strongly fortified, mounting about twenty heavy guns. The town is governed by an urban district council of fifteen members. There are a seamen's mission hall and a county police station. The Earl of Sheffield is lord of the manor.

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 
Ecclesiastical parishNewhaven St. Michael 
Poor Law unionNewhaven 

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

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Newhaven from the following:


Online maps of Newhaven are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Sussex newspapers online:

CountyEast Sussex
RegionSouth East
Postal districtBN9
Post TownNewhaven