History Of Brighton And Environs - Online Book

From The Earliest Known Period To The Present Time.

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the highly-interesting ceremony of driving the first pile took place,—the spectacle enhanced by a full Masonic procession; but the contractors, from want of capital or other causes, delayed progress of the works until the December following, and then abandoned them. Mr Mackintosh, of Bloomsbury Square, London, next entered into arrangements for the completion of the Harbour, successfully carried out the same, and on the 25th of January, 1818, the ceremony of opening took place.
Our readers, from the foregoing statement, will be fully able to appreciate how easily a great national Harbour might here be made, and the incalculable importance such a safe haven would be, at all times, to commerce. "When it is considered how frequently, and oft with fatal results, our coasts are visited by storms and gales, more especially between Portsmouth and the Downs or Eamsgate Harbour, also that excepting the Port of Newhaven no place of shelter offers itself to the distressed mariner when weathering a desolating tempest,—it must be seen how much it is an object of national importance that more places of refuge should be created, as there cannot be one harbour too many for the rescue of our sailors from the fury of the waves.
Shoreham is most advantageously situated, in the centre of a bay formed by two headlands, viz., Beachy Head on the east and Selsey to the westward. It possesses every desirable advantage for a safe and com­modious haven, the anchorage in the bay is excellent, there are five or ten fathoms of water, and the sea bottom is chiefly of stiff blue clay. The tide at this spot is soon down, nor does it rise very high. The Harbour entrance is about a mile and a quarter to the west of the old one already spoken of as at Fishersgate, and is ren­dered permanent by the erection of two substantial piers, 60 yards distant from each other. It opens into two spacious arms, one to the eastward towards Brighton, the other
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