History Of Brighton And Environs - Online Book

From The Earliest Known Period To The Present Time.

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brought direct from the pit's mouth, by railroad, also contributed materially to the latter result.
The river Adur, to which Shoreham Harbour owes its origin, rises at Nuthurst near Horsham, and derives its name from Aweddwr, the running of flowing water. It passes close to the Church of the latter town, and in its course receives a tributary stream from Cowfold and Shipley ; it afterwards flows between Beeding and Bramber and onwards by Old Shoreham Church into the port of Shoreham.
In 1781, a wooden bridge was erected over the estuary at this spot at a cost of £5,000, the money raised by a tontine. The river could be forded at low water, and at high tide a ferry-boat was resorted to. Previous to the erection of this bridge, communication between the eastern and western sides of the county was extremely difficult, inconvenient, and frequently dangerous, and the uncertainty of a passage either way induced the greater number of passengers to the western parts of the county to select the circuitous route by the Upper Shoreham Road, via "Bramber Gorge," over Bramber Bridge, onward to Steyning, thence up the Bosthili, and back to Sompting Church (which is within three miles of this bridge, and on a level road). This occasioned a great loss of time, and entailed extra labour for travellers, also other disadvantages, inasmuch as, at this latter point, had the bridge been in existence, more than half the distance could have been saved by passing over it, instead of resort­ing to the hilly road before mentioned. The tolls payable at the bridge were considerable, and on the expiration of the tontine the bridge reverted to the Duke of Norfolk.
The great inconvenience experienced from the uncer­tainty of crossing the river during a contested county election which took place at Chichester, about 1774, was the immediate cause of the erection of this bridge,—free­holders from the extreme eastern parts of the county
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