The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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SHOREHAM                            163
tion that so prospered at Crecy and Calais, Shore-ham contributed no less than twenty-six, more than London, or in fact than any other port but Fowey, Yarmouth, Dartmouth, and Plymouth, The me­diaeval building in High Street, locally called the Marlipins, of chequered squares in flint and stone, was probably connected with the business of the port.
But decline soon set in, proceeded far and con­tinued long ; Camden pessimistically tells us : "Somewhat lower upon the shore appeareth Shoreham, in times past Scoreham, which by little and little fell to be but a village, at this day called Old Shoreham, and gave increase to another towne of the same name, whereof the greater part, also being drowned and made even with the sea, is no more to be seene ; and the commodiousnesse of the haven, by reason of bankes and barres of sand cast up at the river's mouth, quite gone; whereas, in foregoing times, it was wont to carrie ships with full saile as far as to Brember, which is a good way from the sea."
However, a little more than a century later John Owen in 1720, and De Foe in 1724, have a much brighter picture to portray. Owen says, " This town is Populous, and well built, having a very good Harbor for Vessels of considerable Burthen. It has a great many able Shipwrights who build Ships here both for the service of ye Navy and Merchants. The Parish Chu, which was formerly Collegiate,* has lately been repaired, and greatly beautified by the voluntary contributions, and at the expence of the Inhabitants to their great credit. And it is observed that their is never a
* An error, very natural from the magnificence of the building.
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