A History of the County of Sussex

January 1980
40 black and white, 15 line illustrations
345 pages
30.5x20.8 cm
Victoria County History
ISBN: 9780197227534
Format: Hardback
Victoria County History

A History of the County of Sussex

Volume VI Part I: Bramber Rape (Southern Part)

Edited by T.P. Hudson

This volume describes the southern part of Bramber rape, the easternmost of the three rapes of West Sussex. It tells the history of 19 parishes lying along the coastal strip and over the South Downs. The rape takes its name from the castle at Bramber, which was the centre of the feudal honour and in whose shadow the de Braoses, the lords of the rape, planted a new town. Neighbouring Steyning, once one of the chief towns of the county, was a Saxon foundation with a college of secular canons and a port on the river Adur. The port gradually silted up and was replaced by that at New Shoreham, another Norman town planted in a corner of Old Shoreham parish. New Shoreham, once a major channel port and a centre for shipbuilding, has been much affected by changes in the coastline; the modern harbour lies in Kingston Bowsey and Southwick. The silting and reclamation of the Adur estuary has also changed the face of Lancing, where the college and chapel overlook the new ground. Sompting near by has one of the several noteworthy Romanesque churches is the area. The growth of Worthing was impeded in the 19th century by sanitary problems, but the town is now the second largest in Sussex. It was also formerly renowned for its glasshouse produce. It has swallowed its parent parish of Broadwater and the parishes of Durrington, Heene, and West Tarring, the last named including two fine medieval secular buildings. The urban sprawl takes in part of Findon, scene of the annual sheep fair, which like Clapham and Patching to the west retains extensive downland. Washington, north of the downs is noted for market gardening and sand quarrying, while at Wiston was one of the most important country houses in Sussex. The tally of parishes is completed by the deserted villages of Botolphs and Coombes.

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