The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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192                   THE SUSSEX COAST
South-east side of a gentle hill. ... It was once fortified with walls, of which traces remain. Queen Elizabeth built four gates, of which the Eastern was taken down lately; and there was a flint wall to the sea three feet thick with port­holes, which with the circular blockhouse built by the townsmen 1558, with walls eight feet thick, and a street of houses next the sea, are all under­mined by the sea, which has gained on the shore 50 yards within the memory of several middle-aged persons. . . . This place is now chiefly considerable for the resort of company for sea­bathing, through the recommendation of Dr. Russel, in honour of whom a street is called after his name. . . . The town has doubled in size within 20 years. . . . Packets go regularly from hence to Dieppe in Normandy in time of peace. The bay being open, whenever the winds make it trouble­some to land at Brighthelmstone, the packets can run into Shoreham harbour six miles distant (where they are perfectly safe and in still water) except when the wind blows off the shore; in that case there is no difficulty in getting into Bright­helmstone. This is by far the cheapest route from London to Paris. The travelling by land is ninety miles shorter, the extravagant road by Dover to Paris is avoided and a much finer part of France is seen. Here is a race-course and the number of inhabitants amounted in 1800 to 7,339."
In 1811 Lord Dudley wrote his impressions, telling us that in Brighton "there is no police at all. There is neither Mayor, Bailiff, nor Head-borough, nor in short any vestige of municipal government. The nearest justice of the peace lives at Lewes, nine miles off. Yet there is no place so quiet, and so completely free from crimes.
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