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NEWHAVEN (anciently called MEECHING) is a parish, union, and seaport town, 56½ miles from London, 6½ south from Lewes, and 8 east from Brighton, in the Eastern division of the county, Holmstrow hundred, Lewes rape, county court district, archdeaconry and rural deanery, and diocese of Chichester. The church of St. Michael is situated on a hill: it has a tower, with a low shingled spire: contrary to the general rule, the tower is at the east end: the round eastern wall of the chancel seems to be of Anglo-Saxon origin: the body of the building was in 1854 completely restored and enlarged, and now consists of nave, and north and south aisles of flint, with windows in the Pointed style, and Caen stone dressings: in the churchyard is an obelisk, erected in memory of Capt. Hanson and 104 officers and men of the Brazen sloop-of-war, lost near this place, in January, 1800. The register dates from 1555. The living is a rectory, value £186 per annum, with residence, in the gift of, and held by, the Rev. Ebenezer Pleasance Southwood, M.A., of Trinity College, Cambridge. Newhaven is on the navigable river Ouse and the English Channel, and it obtained its present name when the river was diverted from Seaford, and made to enter the sea in a straight line here. This port is much frequented, and as a harbour of refuge would, with a little improvement, be of the greatest benefit to shipping: the entrance is about 200 feet wide, with a depth at high water of from 17 to 23 feet and at low water 5 to 8 feet: the trustees of the harbour, are at present expending about £50,000 in straightening the course of the river near the town, and constructing a new iron bridge, with a tramway, to connect the west side of the river with the railway. A large fortification is in course of construction on Castle Hill, at the west entrance of the harbour, which, for strength of position, weight of armament, and magnitude, will be equalled only by Dover as a coast defence. The coasting trade inwards consists of coals, corn, &c. partly waterborne to Lewes and Uckfield; that outwards consists of timber for ship building, and flints for the Staffordshire potteries. Newhaven has become a considerable port for continental traffic; a branch of the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway connects it with London, and fast steamers ply daily to and from Dieppe, in connection with the Western Railway of France, forming the most direct line from London to Paris: this route is preferred by many, not only for its regularity and cheapness, but also for the beauty of the scenery from Dieppe to Paris. The number of passengers in 1865 was 47,880: the goods traffic is very considerable, consisting of wines, spirits, silk and French goods: a mail is carried by this line, but it is neccessary to address letters via Newhaven or Dieppe, The principal government department is the Custom House, which employs a large staff, and is conveniently situated at the railway quay, whence the steamers start. Here is a shipbuilding yard, and an extensive brewery, well known for its Tipper ale. There is a fair on the 16th October in each year, for pedlery. The town is rapidly increasing; a great number of new houses are in course of erection. The union comprises 16 parishes, viz.:- Bishopstone, Denton, East Blatchington, Falmer, Iford, Kingston near Lewes, Newhaven, Ovingdean, Piddinghoe, Rodmell, Rottingdean, Southease, South Heighton, Stanmer, Tarring Neville or East Tarring, and Telscombe. The population of the parish in 1861 was 1,886; area 1,217 acres. [Kelly's Post Office Directory of Essex, Herts, Middlesex, Kent, Surrey and Sussex, 1867.]


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Historical Geography

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