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Steyning

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STEYNING is a parish, market town, and polling place for the Western division of the county on the Shoreham, Steyning, Henfield and Horsham, line of railway, 53 miles south-west from London, and about 5 north from Shoreham, giving name to a hundred and also a union, in the rape of Bramber, Brighton county court district, diocese and archdeaconry of Chichester, and rural deanery of Storrington, at the foot of a lofty hill, about a mile west of the river Adur, which is navigable for barges. The town consists of a wide street, running from south to north, from which branches another, leading east to the church and railway station, and has been much improved both in building and general appearance. The town is lighted by gas, and supplied with pure water from two springs in, and another issuing from, the base of a hill half a mile from the town, its stream turning two corn mills belonging to Steyning. The market is held every alternate Monday for cattle and corn; and a considerable fair is held on the 11th October, for cattle, &c. Steyning is the seat of a petty sessions, which is held on market days. The town is a borough by prescription, having returned two members to Parliament from the time of Edward I.; it is now disfranchised, but Steyning, with the whole of the rape of Bramber, now forms part of the Parliamentary borough of New Shoreham. The church of St. Andrew is a large structure in the Norman style of architecture: the interior is richly decorated, and is supposed to have been built about the twelfth century: it is said that King Ethelwolf, who died in 858, the father of Alfred the Great, and St Cuthman, were buried here, in a Saxon church, which formerly occupied the site of the present building. The living is a vicarage, value £400 per annum, with residence and 33½ acres of glebe, in the gift of the Duke of Norfolk, and held by the Rev. Thomas Medland, B.D., of Corpus Christi College, Oxford. The vicarage stands on the site of an ancient priory, once belonging to the Abbey of Fecamp, in Normandy, to which much of the property in this town was presented by William the Conqueror. Here is a Grammar school, founded and endowed in 1614 by William Holland, an alderman of the city of Chichester: the fund produced now is about £100 per annum, arising from land and buildings in Steyning: the boys in and around Steyning are instructed in the Greek and Latin languages, and writing, arithmetic, and mathematics. Here is an extensive parchment manufactory, also two breweries. Steyning union comprises the following parishes, viz.:- Aldrington, Ashurst, Upper Beeding, Bramber, Bottolphs, Coombs, Edburton, Fulking, Hangleton, Henfield, Hove,New Shoreham, Old Shoreham, Patcham, Portslade, Poynings, Preston, Shermanbury, Sompting, Southwick, Steyning, West Blatchington, and Woodmancote; the Union House is at Shoreham. The Wesleyans have a neat chapel. A reading-room has been established for mechanics. The area of Steyning is 3,383 acres, and the population in 1861 was 1,620. [Kelly's Post Office Directory of Essex, Herts, Middlesex, Kent, Surrey and Sussex, 1867.]

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