Bersted, South (St. Mary Magdalene)

BERSTED, SOUTH (St. Mary Magdalene), a parish, in the hundred of Aldwick, rape of Chichester, W. division of Sussex, 6 miles (S. E.) from Chichester; containing, with the town of Bognor, and the tythings of North and of South Bersted, and Shripney, 2490 inbitants, of whom 194 are in North Bersted. It comprises 2455 acres, of which about 1575 acres are arable, 774 pasture, and 6 woodland; the surface is pleasingly varied, and the soil in general a rich loam resting upon a reddish clay or brick earth, and in some parts sand and gravel. The village, which formerly consisted only of a few fishermen's cottages, has been greatly improved. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £7. 18. 9.; patron, the Archbishop of Canterbury; appropriators, the Dean and Chapter: the great tithes have been commuted for £810, and those of the vicar for £400. The church, erected in 1400, is a plain edifice, with a tower surmounted by a low spire of shingles; in the churchyard is the tomb of Sir Richard Hotham, Knt., founder of the town of Bognor. A chapel dedicated to St. John was erected at Bognor, and consecrated in 1822. Stephen de "Berghestede," who was elevated to the see of Chichester in 1262, was a native of the place; and Dr. Lloyd, Bishop of Oxford, was vicar.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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