SUSSEXormer 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.

Local Links East Sussex County Council - West Sussex County Council - Lewes District Council - Eastbourne Council - Hastings Borough Council

Back to topEast Sussex

owns and cities Lewes (administrative headquarters), Newhaven (cross-channel port), Eastbourne, Rye, Winchelsea; Bexhill -on-Sea, Hastings, St Leonards, Seaford (all coastal resorts)

Rye with its half-timbered houses. Still largely unspoilt, it is best explored on foot.

rea 1,725 sq. miles sq. km / 666 sq. miles
opulation 482,800 (1995)

Beachy Head Lighthouse

Beachy Head Lighthouse

HastingsEast 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 border.

Seven SistersHigh 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

ommerce Industries: electronics; gypsum; light engineering; timber
Agriculture: cereals; hops; fruit and vegetables; fishing (at Hastings)
amous people former homes of Henry James at Rye, Rudyard Kipling at Batemans in Burwash, Thomas Sackville at Buckhurst, Virginia Woolf at Rodmell

Seven Sisters

Seven Sisters

HastingsThe `Long Man� 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; RyeBayham 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 1264.

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). Royal PavilionThe 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. Brighton PierWest 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 Weald.
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.

Back to topWest Sussex

owns and cities Chichester (administrative headquarters), Crawley, Horsham, Haywards Heath, Shoreham (port); Bognor Regis, Littlehampton, Worthing (resorts)
rea 2,020 sq. km / 780 sq. miles
opulation 737,300 (1996)
opography 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
ommerce Agriculture: cereals (wheat and barley); fruit; market gardening (mainly on the coastal plain); dairy produce; forestry
Industries: electronics; light engineering
amous people Percy Bysshe Shelley, William Collins, Richard Cobden
ttractions Arundel CastleArundel 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

Arundel Castle, which has breathtaking views from the 12th Century Stone Keep.

GoodwoodRacecourse 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.