Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for NEWHAVEN

NEWHAVEN, a town, a parish, and a sub-district, in Lewes district, Sussex. The town stands on the coast, at the mouth of the river Ouse and on the Seaford branch of the South Coast railway, 8½ miles E S E of Brighton; was anciently called Meeching; took its present namewhen the river was diverted from Seaford, into a newstraight line entering the sea here; was once a markettown; was the landing-place of Louis Philippe and hisqueen, on their flight from Paris in 1848; is a bondingport, a preventive station, and a watering-place; has acquired importance, since the opening of the railway, as aport for continental traffic, and as a point of steam communication with Dieppe, Honfleur, St. Malo, and the Channel Islands; derives consequence also from being the best port between Portsmouth and the Downs, and an eligible place for a harbour of refuge; and has a post-office‡ under Lewes, a railway station with telegraph, another railway station at the steam wharf, a large hotelbuilt by the railway company adjacent to the wharf, a banking office, a custom-house, a coast-guard station, adrawbridge, two dissenting chapels, and a national school. The church stands on an eminence; consists of nave, aisles, and chancel, with an E tower and lowshingled spire; has a chancel apse of Norman or Anglo-Saxon date, similar to that of Yainville-sur-Seine; was restored and enlarged throughout the body, in 1854; and has, in the aisles, pointed windows of flint, with Caenstone dressings. The churchyard contains an obelisk, to the memory of Capt. Hanson and 104 officers and men, who were lost in the wreck of the Brayen sloop-of-war, on the Ave rocks in Jan. 1800. The Independent chapel was built in 1866, at a cost of £1, 180; and measures60 feet by 40. A fair is held on 16 Oct.; and there are an extensive brewery, well known for its Tipper ale, and two ship-building yards.

Much stir exists in connexion with the passenger traffic, particularly to Dieppe; as many persons going from London to Paris prefer this route, on account of its directness, regularity, and cheapness, and for sake also of the beauty of the scenery from Dieppe to Paris. A considerable coasting trade is done inward in coals, corn, and other commodities, outward in timber for ship-building, and in flints for the Staffordshire potteries; and a comparatively large foreign import trade is carried on in wines, spirits, silk, and French goods. The vessels belonging to the port, at the beginning of 1864, were 11 small sailing-vessels, of aggregately 194 tons; 15 large sailing-vessels, of aggregately 2, 484 tons; and 3 steam-vessels, of aggregately 405 tons. The vessels which entered in 1863were 2 British sailing-vessels, of jointly 82 tons, from British colonies; 30 British sailing-vessels, of aggregately 1, 503 tons, from foreign countries; 27 foreign sailing-vessels, of aggregately 2, 545 tons, from foreign countries; 75 British steam-vessels, of aggregately 7, 648 tons, from British colonies; 578 British steam-vessels, of aggregately 78, 390 tons, from foreign counties; 286 sailing-vessels, of aggregately 38, 285 tons, coastwise; and 1 steam-vessel, of 107 tons, coastwise. The vessels whichcleared in 1863 were 2 British sailing-vessels, of jointly107 tons, to British colonies; 15 British sailing-vessels, of aggregately 466 tons, to foreign countries; 19 foreign sailing-vessels, of aggregately 1, 257 tons, to foreign countries; 60 British steam-vessels, of aggregately5, 646 tons, to British colonies; 588 British steam-vessels, of aggregately 79, 780 tons, to foreign counties; and 36 sailing-vessels of aggregately 3, 353 tons, coastwise. The amount of customs in 1862 was £5, 399. The harbour is formed in the channel of the river's mouth, by wooden piers carried out in a southerly direction acrossthe beach; measures 106 feet between the pier-heads, and respectively 600 and 750 feet along the piers; has twofixed lights, 28 and 17 feet high, seen at the distance of8 and 7 miles; has, within the mouth, a depth of from5 to 23 feet of water, according to the state of the tide; has, outside, a good roadstead, in from 5 to 10 fathoms, with shelter from N E winds; underwent improvement by removal of a bar, by dredging, and by the erection of a stone embankment nearly ¾ of a mile long inward on aline with the W pier; and communicates by inland navigation, up the Ouse, with Lewes. A grand schemefor the construction of a harbour of refuge, commercial docks, warehouses, and other appliances, at a cost of £4,000,000, was laid before the Harbour Commissioners in 1865, and was approved by an influential public meeting in the county hall at Lewes. Two batteries of 4 and 6 large guns, on a cliff at the W side of the harbour, formed, in connexion with the batteries of Seaford bay, a considerable defence of the low coast between Brighton and Eastbourne; and they were being superseded in 1867 by a new fort occupying about 15 acres, and estimated to cost £150,000. This fort was begun in 1864, was expected not to be completed till 1869, has an irregular outline, and will mount 42 guns.

The parish comprises 999 acres of land, and 218 of water. Real property, £5, 102. Pop. in 1851, 1, 358; in 1861, 1,886. Houses, 340. The manor belongs to the Earl of Sheffield. Remains of an ancient circular fortification, with capacity for about 5,000 men, are on Castle Hill. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Chichester. Value, £194.* Patron, the Lord Chancellor.—The sub-district contains also eight other parishes. Acres, 11, 751. Pop., 3, 213. Houses, 610. The parishes of this sub-district, and those of Rottingdean sub-district form a poor law union; the workhouse of whichis in Newhaven, and has capacity for 150 inmates. Poor-rates in 1863, £3, 733.

(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a town, a parish, and a sub-district"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Newhaven CP/AP       Newhaven SubD       Newhaven RegD/PLU       Sussex AncC
Place names: MEECHING     |     NEWHAVEN
Place: Newhaven

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