Once a Week (magazine)/Series 1/Volume 11/A summer day at Shoreham and Bramber

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Bridge at Old Shoreham.

A half-hour's journey westward by railway will carry the visitor who happens to be staying at Brighton into a retired and secluded country, which will offer him a very pleasant contrast to the eternal bustle and scorching sun of the Marine Parade. Let him take a return ticket either to Shoreham or to Bramber, and allow himself a summer afternoon for a holiday, and he will return to his lodgings at London-super-Mare without any temptation to cry out, with the Emperor Titus, "perdidi diem."

The river Adur, which rises out of St. Leonard's Forest near Horsham, found its way into the open sea, seven or eight centuries ago, some six or seven miles west of Brighton, at a place which now bears the name of Old Shoreham—the village on the shore. Partly through the gradual receding of the sea, consequent on the alluvial deposits brought down by the Adur, and partly through the growth of a bank of pebbles thrown up across the river's mouth by the action of the tide, the once flourishing port and town has sunk into a tiny rural village, the chief ornament of which is its exquisite Norman church, which, small as it is, is known to all Ecclesiologists and Church architects as one of the best specimens of its time. Fifty years ago the place was described by Britton as having dwindled down into a village of about 30 houses, and only 188 inhabitants. In 1861, mainly owing to the influx of hands employed upon the railway, the population had risen to a somewhat larger amount.

Five and twenty years ago a great part of the fabric of the church, including the transepts, lay in ruins; but its fine semi-circular arches and the curious zig-zag mouldings, dating from an early period after the Conquest, attracted the attention of the Cambridge Camden Society, under whose auspices the building was restored by Mr. Ferrey, in excellent taste and in the most substantial manner, about the year 1840. We are not about to inflict on our readers a chapter on Church architecture, so we will beg them, if they desire further information, to pay the church a visit of inspection. They will find the central tower, with its arcade of three arches, and Page:Once a Week Jun to Dec 1864.pdf/269 Page:Once a Week Jun to Dec 1864.pdf/270 Page:Once a Week Jun to Dec 1864.pdf/271 Page:Once a Week Jun to Dec 1864.pdf/272 Page:Once a Week Jun to Dec 1864.pdf/273