The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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intire, and the adjoining huts called Portslade, or the way to the port, induce me to place it at the small village of Ederington," now Aldrington. As to the name of the river Holinshed simply refers to "the Sore, which notwithstanding I find to be called Brember water, in the ancient map of Marton colledge in Oxford."
A Roman road from London to this coast can be traced over Selsfield and St. John's Commons (and elsewhere); it probably reached the Channel not very far from Portslade, and here it probably branched, the route that led to Portus Adurni may possibly have given Portslade its name. If the port were at Shoreham it might have been ex­pected that the road would be more direct, but, as Hilaire Belloc has pointed out, it was necessary to avoid the marshes, and this making the Adur valley impossible the next practicable route over the Downs eastward may have been selected.
The vagaries of the river are most difficult to trace; in early days it formed a long tidal fjord extending far into the Weald, and perhaps once more or less navigable up to the site of Henfield. Gradually the eastward drift began silting up the mouth and forming a long bar of shingle between the river and the sea, ac one time the mouth was evidently as far east as Brighton, but probably the water permeated a good deal through the beach without forming a well-defined and navigable entrance. Dr. Harrison, of Hove, has devoted much attention to the subject, but he is far too careful and prudent a man to supply the particulars we are most in need of—the precise dates of the successive mouths. While the site of Portus Adurni cannot be certainly fixed, the evidence of the river's mouths would seem to favour Shoreham.
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