WORTHING is a fishing and market town, watering-place, railway station on the South Coast line, and polling place for the Western division of the county, in the parish of Broadwater, rape of Bramber, Brightford hundred, East Preston union, diocese and archdeaconry of Chichester, and rural deanery of Storrington, 61¼ miles from London, 12 west from Brighton, and 21 from Chichester. From, an inconsiderable fishing village it has risen to a town of importance. Towards the close of the last century the visit of the Princess Amelia appears to have given it an importance which most other towns are long in acquiring. The subsequent visits of the Princess Charlotte and Queen Caroline, on different occasions, contributed to its popularly, and in 1849 her late Majesty the Queen Dowager and suite paid a visit here for a fortnight. Worthing is on the coast of Sussex, sheltered on the land side, by an amphitheatre of chalk downs, and has on the sea side a long range of smooth sands, extending 4 miles to the east and 9 to the west, The town is well laid out, and has some good streets.
A handsome iron pier has been erected at the bottom of South-street: it is 960 feet long, 15 feet wide, cost £4,182, and was opened 12th April, 1862: there were 258½ tons of iron used in its construction; Robert Rawlinson, Esq., C.E., was the engineer; William Hugh Dennett, Esq., is the solicitor and secretary to the Worthing Pier Company Limited. The Steyne consists of 3 acres in front of Warwick House.
Petty sessions are held here. The Corn Exchange is close to the railway station, and a market is held there every alternate Wednesday. The fishing is chiefly for mackerel and herrings for the supply of the London market.
Christ Church, erected in 1843, contains nearly 1,000 sittings, one-half of which are free: it has a splendid organ, by Bryceson, of London. The annual value of the living is £300, in the gift of the Rector of Broadwater, and held by the Rev. F. Cruse, B.A., of St. Edmund Hall, Oxford.
The chapel of ease, erected in 1812, is a perpetual curacy value £150 per annum, in the gift of the Rector of Broadwater, and held by the Rev. William. Read, M.A., of St. John's College, Cambridge.
There are chapels for Independents, Wesleyans, and Christian Brethren.
The population, with Broadwater, in 1861 was 6,466. [Kelly's Post Office Directory of Essex, Herts, Middlesex, Kent, Surrey and Sussex, 1867.]