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Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, England-2Oct2011.jpg
Shoreham Beach, from the air
Grid reference: TQ220051
Location: 50°49’58"N, 0°16’6"W
Population: 19,175  (2001)
Post town: Shoreham-by-Sea
Postcode: BN43
Dialling code: 01273
Local Government
Council: Adur
East Worthing and Shoreham

Shoreham-by-Sea (often shortened to Shoreham) is a small seaside town and port in Sussex.

Shoreham-by-Sea railway station is located less than a mile from the town centre and Gatwick Airport is 23 miles away. Shoreham had a population of 17,537 according to the 2001 census.

The town is bordered to its north by the South Downs, to its west by the Adur valley and to its south by the River Adur and Shoreham Beach on the English Channel. The town lies in the middle of the ribbon of urban development along the Sussex coast between Brighton and Worthing.


Town hall
St Mary de Haura Church
St Nicolas' Church

Old Shoreham dates back to pre-Roman times.[1] St Nicolas' Church, inland by the River Adur, is partly Anglo-Saxon[2] The name of the town has an Old English origin.[3] The town and port of New Shoreham was established by the Normans towards the end of the 11th century.

St Mary de Haura Church (St Mary of the Haven) was built in the decade following 1103 and around this time the town was laid out on a grid pattern that, in essence, survives in the town centre. The church is only half the size of the original - the former nave was ruinous at the time of the civil war although remnants of the original west façade survive in the churchyard to some height.

The severe storms of the 14th and 15th centuries wreaked much damage along this part of the south coast.

The rise of Brighton, Hove and Worthing - in particular the arrival of the railway in 1840 - prepared the way for Shoreham's rise as a Victorian sea port, with several shipyards and an active coasting trade. Shoreham Harbour remains in commercial operation.

Shoreham Beach

Shoreham Beach, to the south of the town, is a shingle bank thrown up over the centuries by the sea through the process of longshore drift as an extension to Lancing parish in the west. This blocks the southerly flow of the River Adur which turns east at this point to discharge into the English Channel further along the coast at a point that has varied considerably over time. Once the harbour mouth was stabilised it was defended by Shoreham Fort.[4] Converted railway carriages became summer homes around the start of the 20th century, and Bungalow Town, as it was then known, became home for a short time to the early British film industry. Shoreham Beach officially became part of Shoreham-by-Sea in 1910. Much housing in the area was cleared for defence reasons during the Second World War and most of what remained after the war is now gone, replaced by modern houses.[5] The Church of the Good Shepherd, built in 1913, still stands. Along the Adur mud flats adjacent to Shoreham Beach sits (and at high tides floats) a large collection of houseboats made from converted barges, tugs, mine sweepers,[6] Motor Torpedo Boat]]s etc. The seaside shingle bank of Shoreham beach extends further east past the harbour mouth, forming the southern boundary of the commercial harbour in Southwick, Portslade and Hove.

The Monarch's Way long-distance footpath, commemorating the flight of Charles II to France after the Battle of Worcester, follows the beach westwards from Hove past Portslade and Southwick, terminating by the harbour mouth's east breakwater.

Landscape and wildlife

Transversed by the River Adur and with the downs and the sea nearby the area supports a diverse wildlife flora and fauna. The mudflats support wading birds and gulls, including the Ringed Plover which attempts to breed on the coastal shingle. The Pied Wagtail is common in the town in the winter months. Insect fauna includes dragonflies over the flood plains of the river. The south and west facing downs attract at least 33 species of butterflies including a nationally important population of the Chalkhill Blue Butterfly on Mill Hill.[7] The underlying rock is chalk on the downs, with alluvium in the old river channels. The Adur district has a variety of habitats in a small area, including natural chalk downs and butterfly meadows, freshwater and reed beds, salt marsh and estuary, brackish water lagoons, woodland, shingle seashore, chalk platform undersea and large expanses of sand.

Farmers' market

Shoreham-by-Sea holds the largest farmers' market in Sussex and one of the largest in the south of Britain; it is held in East Street on the second Saturday of each month and usually has in excess of 60 stall holders supplying local vegetables, meat, cakes and preserves.


Shoreham Airport to the west of the main town, is now in private ownership. It is the oldest licensed airport in the United Kingdom; the Art Deco terminal is a Grade II listed building. It has been used as a location for the filming of one of Agatha Christie's Poirot stories, Lord Edgware Dies,[8] a Crimewatch-type reconstruction in 2000 by Meridian television, an episode of the BBC TV Series Tenko

The town is also served by Shoreham-by-Sea railway station, located on the West Coastway Line.

Shoreham Tollbridge crosses the River Adur in the west of the town. This bridge is a Grade II* listed building and was the last tollbridge in use in Sussex. The bridge was part of the A27 road until it was closed to traffic in 1968. The structure is now too weak to carry vehicles, but it underwent extensive restoration and was officially re-opened for pedestrians on 23 October 2008 by the Duke of York.[9]

Sport and leisure

  • Football: Shoreham FC, who play at Middle Road
  • Rugby: Shoreham RFC, who play at Buckingham Park

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Shoreham-by-Sea)