Nature has eminently favoured this town by the salubrity of its air, the potency of its mineral springs, and the adjacent appendages of romantic and agreeable scenery.
Old Shoreham, on the right of the line, has a fine old Saxon church, which has been recently restored, and is much admired as a beautiful specimen of Saxon architecture.
New Shoreham is a borough town and a port, situated at the mouth of the River Adur, over which there is a suspension bridge. The harbour is about a mile to the eastward of the town.
The Swiss Gardens, a kind of Vauxhall, are beautiful. The grounds are admirably laid out, and a constant succession of amusements provided in exchange for the shilling that entitles you to the admission. The cottage is called the “Swiss Cottage” — not that the peasants are so lodged in Switzerland, but that in novels and noblemen’s parks structures of one story high are thus denominated. The material must have cost less than the workmanship, for the doors, windows, and less substantial parts of the fabric are composed of little pieces of stick with the bark on – not expensive by any means, but so picturesque, as a young lady will be sure to remark within your hearing. Inside this Helvetian habitation there is a salon á manger, on a great scale, besides several little saloons for refreshment and flirtation, being, in fact, refectories for two inside – the most compact and comfortable places you can imagine. Added to this, there is a little theatre, a concert, music, swings, and oracles of divination, for all who choose to consult the mystic temple of the Sybil. Of the whole place it may be said, with justice, that there is not in England another so well designed, or preserved in such excellent order.
Few districts in England exhibit more interesting relics of the early history of the island than this part of Sussex. Shoreham was certainly a place of importance previous to the Conquest. Subsequently its geographical position must have added still more to its consequence. From the Downs to Portsmouth the coast is, even in our day, most difficult of access – ten centuries ago it was without a landing-place for vessels of burden, or for craft of any sort, with strong winds from three points of the compass except Newhaven and Shoreham. As easterly winds are-happily for folks of rheumatic tendency – more rare than any others for nine months in the year, these two places probably monopolised all the intercourse between Great Britain and her French territories. For this reason splendid and unique specimens of Norman architecture abound in Sussex. Of these, not one of the least remarkable is the parish church of New Shoreham. It was originally formed as a crucifix, and covered a great deal of ground. The embellishments are still of rare richness and variety, and are full of interest as marks of the state of the arts in those remote days.
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The situation of this town on the banks of the Wey, and spreading over the steep hill as it rises from the side of the river, is particularly picturesque.
From the Worthing Road the appearance of the town, with its stately castle, extensive park, and winding river, is singularly beautiful.