In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Steyning like this:
STEYNING, a small town, a parish, a sub-district, a district, and a hundred, in Sussex. The town stands on Stone-street, at the foot of a hill, near the Shoreham and Horsham railway, 1 mile W of the river Adur, and 4½ NNW of Shoreham; figures in Alfred's will as Stenyng; is said to have been the burial-place of Alfred's father and of St. Cuthman; had a Benedictine priory, founded by the Confessor, made a cell to Fecamp abbey in Normandy, and given by Edward to Sion abbey; sent two members to parliament from the time of Edward I. ...
till disfranchised by the reform act of 1832; is a seat of petty sessions; consists chiefly of two spacious streets, much improved in their edifices; and has a post-office‡ under Hurstperpoint, a r. station with telegraph, two banking offices, a good inn, a police station, a Norman church large and once cruciform, a Wesleyan chapel, an endowed grammar-school with £92 a year, charities £40, two breweries, an extensive parchment manufactory, a-fortnightly market on Monday, and a fair on 11 Oct. The parish comprises 3,383 acres. Real property, £7,717. Pop. in 1851, 1,464; in 1861, 1,620. Houses, 323. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Chichester. Value, £400.* Patron, the Duke of Norfolk.The sub-district contains 9 parishes. Acres, 23,371. Pop., 5,684. Houses, 1,110.The district includes also Shoreham sub-district, and comprises 44,344 acres. Poor rates in 1863, £9,418. Pop. in 1851, 16,867; in 1861, 24,053. Houses, 3,778. Marriages in 1863, 145; births, 735,-of which 42 were illegitimate; deaths, 477,-of which 193 were at ages under 5 years, and 5 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 1,513; births, 6,012; deaths, 3,268. The places of worship, in 1851, were 27 of the Church of England, with 7,849 sittings; 5 of Independents, with 425 s.; 1 of Baptists, with 20 s.; 3 of Wesleyans, with 528 s.; 2 of Primitive Methodists, with 95 s.; 2 undefined, with 500 s.; and 1 of Latter Day Saints, with 50 s. The schools were 21 public day schools, with 1,715 scholars; 58 private day schools, with 968 s.; 24 Sunday schools, with 1,658 s.; and 1 evening school for adults, with 12 s. The workhouse is in New Shoreham.-The hundred contains 6 parishes, and is in Bramber rape. Acres, 12,466. Pop. in 1851, 2,906. Houses, 550.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Steyning has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Horsham. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Steyning and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Steyning, in Horsham and Sussex | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 22nd May 2013
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