ormer county of England, on the south coast, now divided into East
Sussex and West Sussex.
East Sussex County of Southeast England, created in 1974,
formerly part of Sussex
West Sussex County of southern England, created in 1974,
formerly part of Sussex
According to tradition, the Saxon Ella landed in 477, defeated the inhabitants, and
founded the kingdom of the South Saxons, which was absorbed by Wessex in 825.
East Sussex County Council - West Sussex County Council - Lewes District Council - Eastbourne Council - Hastings Borough Council
|owns and cities
||Lewes (administrative headquarters), Newhaven (cross-channel port),
Eastbourne, Rye, Winchelsea; Bexhill -on-Sea, Hastings, St Leonards, Seaford (all coastal
Rye with its half-timbered houses. Still largely unspoilt, it is best explored
||1,725 sq. miles sq. km / 666 sq. miles
Beachy Head Lighthouse
|East Sussex is
bounded on the south by the English Channel; on the west by Brighton and Hove and West
Sussex; and on the north by Surrey and Kent. It is still one of the most wooded counties
in England. Along the South Downs, which lie generally within 15 km / 9 miles of the sea,
runs the South Downs Way, from Beachy Head through East and West Sussex to the Hampshire
points along its path include Ditchling Beacon (248 m / 814 ft). The Weald is now a dairy
farming area; until the 17th century its iron industry was nationally important. The
Ashdown Forest was originally a Norman hunting forest; attempts to cultivate the land have
failed because of the forest's sterile soil. Beachy Head, highest headland on the south
coast (180 m / 590 ft), the eastern end of the South Downs; the Weald (including Ashdown
Forest); Friston Forest; rivers Cuckmere, Ouse, and East Rother (which flows into the sea
near Rye); Romney Marsh
||Industries: electronics; gypsum; light engineering; timber
Agriculture: cereals; hops; fruit and vegetables; fishing (at Hastings)
||former homes of Henry James at Rye, Rudyard Kipling at Batemans in
Burwash, Thomas Sackville at Buckhurst, Virginia Woolf at Rodmell
Manï¿½ chalk hill figure at Wilmington, near Eastbourne; prehistoric earthworks; Iron Age
hillfort at Mount Caburn, near Lewes ; Roman villas; Herstmonceux, with a 15th-century
castle (conference and exhibition centre) and adjacent modern buildings, site of the
Greenwich Royal Observatory (1958 -90); other castles at Hastings, Lewes, Pevensey, and
Bodiam; Bayham Abbey; Battle Abbey
and the site of the Battle of Hastings; Michelham Priory; Sheffield Park garden;
University of Sussex at Falmer, near Brighton, founded in 1961 Two important events that
took place in the county are the Battle of Hastings in 1066, and the Battle of Lewes in
The Battle of Hastings was fought in 1066 and the site of the conflict is marked
by Battle Abbey, built by William of Normandy to atone for the slaughter.
Seaside resort in Brighton and Hove unitary authority. The town was part of the county of
East Sussex until 1997. It is an education and service centre with two universities, and
tourist and conference business facilities.
The town developed in the 18th century as a fashionable health resort patronized, from
1783, by the Prince of Wales (later George IV). The Royal Pavilion,
extensively remodelled by John Nash between 1815 and 1822 in a mixture of Classical and
Oriental styles, reopened in 1990 after nine years of restoration. Other features include
the Palace Pier and an aquarium. Originally a fishing village mentioned in the Domesday
Book of 1086 as Brighthelmstone or Brithelmeston, the town became known as Brighton at the
beginning of the 19th century.
Brighton has 6 km / 4 miles of promenade. West Pier was damaged in the 1970s by a storm. Palace
Pier was built in 1899 to replace the Chain Pier which had been destroyed by a storm in
1896. The Lanes area of the town contains 18th-century buildings on the medieval street
plan of the original village. French raids in the 16th century destroyed much of the
town's early architecture, the oldest surviving building being the church of St Nicholas,
founded in the 14th century.
Other features include the Dome Theatre, originally the royal stables; the Museum and Art
Gallery, which includes Art Deco, English pottery, and British paintings from the 19th and
early 20th centuries; Booth's Museum of Natural History housing a large collection of
stuffed birds; and a racecourse near the regal Kemptown estate. Devil's Dyke, a large
cleft in the 200 m/700 ft-high downs to the north of the town, offers long views across
The University of Sussex was founded in 1961. Built on the Stanmer estate, to the
northeast of the town, it contains buildings designed by Basil Spence. Roedean Girls'
School was founded in 1885.
|owns and cities
||Chichester (administrative headquarters), Crawley, Horsham, Haywards
Heath, Shoreham (port); Bognor Regis, Littlehampton, Worthing (resorts)
||2,020 sq. km / 780 sq. miles
||West Sussex is bounded on the north by Surrey; on the east by East Sussex
and Brighton and Hove; on the west by Hampshire; and on the south by the English Channel.
Part of the Weald lies in West Sussex, and there are large tracts of lower greensand (a
type of sandstone) country. The county contains part of the Downs, which are more wooded
than in East Sussex, with beeches predominating in the Goodwood-Charlton area. Parts of
the county are marshy, and there is a wide and fertile coastal plain stretching westwards
from Worthing. Along the coast there are beaches, as at Littlehampton and Bognor Regis,
and shallow inlets, such as those at Pagham Harbour and Chichester Harbour, with its
intricate channels. There is a port at Shoreham. the Weald; South Downs; rivers Adur,
Arun, and West Rother
||Agriculture: cereals (wheat and barley); fruit; market gardening (mainly
on the coastal plain); dairy produce; forestry
Industries: electronics; light engineering
||Percy Bysshe Shelley, William Collins, Richard Cobden
and Bramber castles; Chichester cathedral, which dates back to 1091, is delightful.
Goodwood House and racecourse; Petworth House (17th century); Wakehurst Place, where the
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, have additional grounds; Uppark House (1685-90); the Weald and
Downland Open Air Museum at Singleton; Fishbourne villa (important Roman site near
Chichester); Selsey (reputed landing place of the South Saxons in 447); Gatwick Airport
Castle, which has breathtaking views from the 12th Century Stone Keep.
Racecourse NE of
Chichester. Its races include the Goodwood Cup and Sussex Stakes, held July / Aug. There
was a motor-racing track there 1948-66, and in 1982 the road races of the world cycling
championships were staged there.