Seaford  Sussex


In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Seaford like this:

SEAFORD, a small town and a parish in Eastbourne district, Sussex. The town stands on the coast, at the terminus of the Newhaven branch of the South Coast railway, 3¼ miles S E of Newhaven; had anciently a harbour at the original outlet of the Ouse, which afterwards was diverted to Newhaven; was possibly the Mærcryd or Mercredesburn of Ella's battle in 485; was the landing-place, in 1058, of the monk Balger, who figured much in ecclesiastical history; suffered severe attacks by the French in the time of Edward III. ...

and in 1545; was, at one time, so devastated by "the black death" as to be threatened with extinction; had anciently fivechurches and chapels, and a lepers' hospital; took rank, at an early period, as a member of the cinque port of Hastings; went into decadence, as a place of trade, by the silting up and closing of its harbour; sent two members to parliament in the times of Edward I., Edward II., Edward III., Richard II., and Edward IV., and always from the time of Charles I. till disfranchised by the reform act of 1832; is governed, under a charter of Henry VIII., by a bailiff, 12 jurats, and other officers; gives the title of Baron to the family of Ellis; had formerly a weekly market; is now a quiet sea-bathing resort, with warm and cold baths on the beach; and has a post-office‡under Lewes, a r. station with telegraph, three inns, a town hall, a police station, a Norman and early English church, an Independent chapel, a convalescent hospital, a national school, and charities £8. The parish comprises 1,870 acres of land, and 365 of water. Real property, £4, 986. Pop., 1,084. Houses, 213. A sea encurvature or bay has very deep water; a roadstead gives shelter to ships in easterly gales; and lofty cliffs flankthe shore. Remains of a large Roman camp are on the heights; and a fort in ruins and martello tower are on the beach. Some fishing is carried on; mackerel are sometimes taken in large quantities; and fine prawns are caught among the rocks. The living is a vicarage, united with Sutton, in the diocese of Chichester. Value, £300. Patron, the Lord Chancellor.

Seaford through time

Seaford is now part of Lewes district. Click here for graphs and data of how Lewes has changed over two centuries. For statistics about Seaford itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Seaford, in Lewes and Sussex | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 30th May 2024

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