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Sidlesham

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SIDLESHAM is a large parish, in the Western division of the county, hundred of Manhood, West Hampnett union, Chichester rape, county court district, diocese and archdeaconry, and rural deanery of Boxgrove, bounded on the east by Pagham Harbour and Hunston, on the west by Earnley and Birdham, on the north by Donnington, and on the south by Selsey. The village is near the south-eastern boundary of the parish, on the road from Pagham Harbour to Chichester, and 5 miles from that city. Here is a large tidal mill, worked by means of the great estuary which flows into Sidlesham by Pagham Harbour from the sea: this estuary was occasioned, several centuries ago, by a sudden irruption of the sea at Pagham, by which 2,700 acres of land were devastated: the mill is capable of grinding two loads of wheat per hour: small vessels ride at anchor close to its wharf, and an extensive coasting trade from it is carried on. The church of St. Mary is an ancient edifice, in the Early English style, with square tower, 2 bells, chancel, and nave. The register dates from 1566. The living is a vicarage, value £182 per annum, exclusive of glebe, in the gift of the Bishop of Chichester, and held by the Rev. William Bruton, B.A., of Exeter College, Oxford. Area 4,109 acres; the population in 1861 was 960. [Kelly's Post Office Directory of Essex, Herts, Middlesex, Kent, Surrey and Sussex, 1867.]

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