The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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164                    THE SUSSEX COAST
Beggar in the Town, nor any Person that receives Alms."
De Foe says: " From hence, still keeping the coast close on the left, we came to Shoreham, a sea-faring town, and chiefly inhabited by ship-carpenters, ship-chandlers, and all the several trades depending upon the building and fitting up of ships, which is their chief business; and they are famed for neat building and for building good sea-boats; that is to say, ships that are wholesome in the sea and good sailers ; but for strong build­ing they do not come up to Yarmouth, Ipswich, and the North. The builders of ships seemed to plant here chiefly because of the exceeding quantity and cheapness of timber in the country behind them ; being the same wooded country I mentioned above, which still continues through this county and the next also. The river this town stands upon, though not navigable for large vessels, yet serves them to bring down this large timber in floats from Bramber, Stenning, and the country adjacent, which is, as it were, all covered with timber."
Not long after the settlement of New Shoreham one of the great house of Braose founded the Church of St. Mary of the Harbour, whose tower dominates the town and which is rivalled in Sussex by buildings of a purely parochial character only in Rye. It was originally a Norman building, erected during the first quarter of the twelfth century, with aisled nave of five bays having round pillars and single windows in the clear­story, central tower, transepts with windows on two levels, and in all probability there were three eastern apses, whose gable marks can still be seen against the walls of transepts and tower. The
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