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Shoreham, Sussex

Historical Description

Shoreham, a town and two parishes in Sussex. Tha town stands on the coast, at the mouth of the river Adur, with a station on the L.B. & S.C.R., 55 miles from London, and 6 W of Brighton. It has a post, money order, and telegraph office. Acreage of New Shoreham parish, 116; population, 3393; of Old Shoreham, 1920; population, 260. The town was originally situated in Old Shoreham parish, 1 mile N of its present site, but is now in New Shoreham parish; had at its ancient site a harbour which was long a great outlet to the Continent, but became silted up; was the landing-place of Ella, the first king of the South Saxons to complete the conquest of England; was the landing-place also of John on his return from the Continent after the death of Richard I.; contributed twenty-six ships in 1346 to the fleet £ Edward III.; sank afterwards into decline in consequence of encroachments by the sea; was the place of Charles II.'s embarkation after the battle of Worcester; experienced revival in recent times through improvement of its harbour, the extension of shipbuilding, and the discovery of rich neighbouring oyster-beds. It is a coastguard station and a port. It was formerly a parliamentary borough, but its representation was merged in that of the county in 1885. It has two chief inns, a police station, a market-house, a customhouse, a handsome suspension bridge, Swiss gardens, a grammar school, and a workhouse. The Swiss gardens are extensive, include a theatre, a museum, and a conservatory,. The church of St Mary, New Shoreham, is partly Norman, partly Early English, was originally cruciform, and was restored in 1876. A white friary was founded near it by Sir J. Mowbray, and there was an hospital of St James. The church of St Nicholas, Old Shoreham, is a cruciform building of flint in the Norman style, and has been restored. There, are Roman Catholic, Wesleyan, and Baptist chapels.

Shipbuilding is largely carried on, and much business is done in corn, timber, and coals. A tidal harbour in the river's course runs inside the coast, has a shingle bar, is. entered through a new or artificial mouth, opposite Kingston, 218 feet wide, and strengthened by wooden piles, admits vessels drawing 16 feet of water, and has two lights, 23 and 42 feet high, showing the fair way. The number of vessels registered as belonging to the port in 1895 was 70 (9000 tons). The entries and clearances each average 600 (100,000 tons) per annum. The manors belonged anciently to the family of Braose. Buckingham House is the seat of the Bridger family. The livings are vicarages in the diocese of Chichester; net value of New Shoreham, £258 with residence; of Old Shoreham, £300 gross with residence. Patron, Magdalen College, Oxford.

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


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CountyEast Sussex