Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for SHOREHAM

SHOREHAM, a town, two parishes, and a sub-district, in Steyning district, Sussex. The town stands on the coast, at the mouth of the river Adur, and on the South Coast railway, at the junction of the line to Horsham, 6 miles W of Brighton; was originally situated in Old S. parish, 1 mile N of its present site; is now in New S. 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 26 ships, in 1346, to the fleet of Edward 1lI.; 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 ship-building, and the discovery of rich neighbouring oyster-beds; has, within the last few years, undergone much improvement; is a seat of petty-sessions, a coastguard station, a head port, and a parliamentary borough; sent two members to parliament, occasionally from the time of Edward I. till that of Edward III., and always thence till now; possessed the franchise within its proper town limits till 1770, but then, on account of bribery, underwent extension of them to all the rape of Bramber except Horsham borough; and has a head post-office,‡ a r. station with telegraph, two chief inns, a police station, a market house, a custom-house, a handsome suspension bridge, Swiss gardens, a church, three dissenting chapels, a Protestant grammar-school, a large High Church school, and a workhouse. The Swiss gardens are extensive; include a theatre, a museum, and a conservatory; and have been visited by upwards of 5,000 persons in one day. The church is partly Norman, partly early English; was originally cruciform; and was in such condition in 1869 as to require restoration. A white friary was founded near it, by Sir J. Mowbray; and there was an hospital of St. James.

A fortnightly corn market is held on Monday; and a. fair, on 25 July. Ship-building is largely carried on; an oyster trade employs about 80 smacks and 400 men; a considerable commerce exists with France; 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 vessels belonging to the port, at the beginning of 1864, were 29 small sailing-vessels, of aggregately 585 tons; 104 large sailing-vessels, of aggregately 20,538 tons; and 1 steam-vessel, of 15 tons. The vessels which entered in 1863 were 15 British sailing-vessels, of aggregately 1,041 tons, from British colonies; 65 British-sailing-vessels, of aggregately 5,149 tons, from foreign countries; 327 foreign sailing-vessels, of aggregately 19,101 tons, from foreign countries; 1 British steam-vessel, of 85 tons, from British colonies; 2 British steam-vessels, of jointly 308 tons, from foreign countries; and 626 sailing-vessels, of aggregately 97,435 tons, coastwise. The amount of customs in 1867 was £9,311. Pop. of the town in 1861, about 3,320. Electors of the borough in 1833, 1,925; in 1868, 1,999. Pop. in 1851, 30,553; in 1861, 32,622. Houses, 5,930.

The two parishes are New S. and Old S. The former contains the town; and the latter is 1 mile to the N, and has a post-office under Shoreham. Acres of New S., 170. Real property, £12,715. Pop. in 1851, 2,590; in 1861, 3,351. Houses, 513. Acres of Old S., 1,870. Real property, £2,696. Pop. in 1861, 282. Houses, 48. The manors belonged anciently to the family of Braose. Buckingham House is the seat of H.Bridger, Esq. The livings are vicarages in the diocese of Chichester. Value, £127* and £458.* Patron, Magdalen College, Oxford. Old S. church is Norman, and was recently restored.—The sub-district contains 13 other parishes. Acres, 20,973. Pop. in 1851, 11,249; in 1861, 18,369. Houses, 2,668.


(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a town, two parishes, and a sub-district"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Shoreham SubD       Steyning PLU/RegD       Sussex AncC
Place: Shoreham

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