worthing history



FOUR thousand years before the birth of Christ, Neolithic or New Stone Age people were living in the Worthing area. Confirmation came with the discovery of polished Stone Age axe heads during 20th century excavations at the west end of The Strand, in Ardingly Drive, Thakeham Drive and on Highdown Hill.

Around 3700BC some of the earliest flint mines in Britain were being worked at Church Hill (Findon), Black Patch, Harrow Hill and Cissbury, the latter believed to have been the second largest in this country.
   By 2500BC in the Old Bronze Age, Highdown had become the fortified hub of local settlement and 1600 years later was still the centre of the local community.
Many late Bronze Age household objects circa 900BC have been uncovered on and around the hill and all the evidence indicates that by then people were living in circular wattle-and-daub huts.
   In 350BC an Iron Age hill fort was established on the summit of Cissbury, enclosing part of the former area of the mines.
   Roman occupation dominated this part of the world in the early part of the new millennium and they built a villa and bathhouse on the western flank of Highdown Hill around 43AD.
   There is evidence that a Roman road or coastal footpath went right through the centre of Goring and another Roman villa was built close to what is today the centre of Worthing. Further evidence of local Roman influence has included the discovery of a bust of a Roman boy's head, a hoard of Roman coins unearthed in Mill Road and a milestone found in Grand Avenue, just south of junction with Mill Road and marked in the period of Constantine the Great (Circa AD 337).
   The name of Worthing or anything resembling it was still centuries away but by 450AD, Ferring was already a Saxon settlement, owing its name to their chieftan named Fere. From that moment, the development of this part of the world gathered apace.

 Cissbury Neolithic hillfort established.

 New Stone Age people were living where Goring is today. Confirmed when polished Stone Age axe heads were found during 20th century excavations at the west end of The Strand, in Ardingly Drive, Thakeham Drive and on Highdown Hill.

 Highdown Hill became a fortfied Bronze Age settlement and remained the hub of local life for 1,600 years.

 People were living at Highdown in circular wattle-and-daub huts.

 Iron Age hill fort established on summit of Highdown. Probably occupied until circa 50BC. Later used by Saxons as a burial ground.

 Beginning of Roman occupation of South East Britain.

 Romans built villas at Bignor and Angmering.

 Romano-British village between the junction of Merton Road and Navarino Road.

 Roman villa and bath built on western slope of Highdown Hill

 First Saxons arrive in Worthing area.

 Probable final departure of Romans from Worthing area.

Circa 500AD
 Probably a Saxon settlement in area of Upper High Street.

 Bishop Wilfred of Selsey established a mission among the pagan Saxons.

 Charter issued under the authority of Psmund, King of the South Saxons - the name Sussex derives from Sudsexe or Suose(a)xe; South Saxons - shows that a grant of land was made for the building of a monastery.

Circa 700AD
 The people of Garra (Gara-ingas) settled in the plain between Highdown and the sea (inga - or homestead - of Gara’s people). Hence Goring. The people of Fere lived at Ferring and those of Teorra at Tarring.

Circa 765AD
 Grant of land made by Osmund, King of the South Saxons, to his thane Walhere, for the building of a monastery in Ferring.

 Charter recording existence of a church dedicated to St Andrew at Ferring.

 King Athelstan gave his thane Aelfwald a small parcel of land

 in a place which local peasants named Durrington.

 Aelfwald bequeathed land at Braden watere to his brother. Later it became Broadwater.

 Forfeited lands in what today is the Worthing area were restored to the thane Wulfric in a charter signed by King Edgar.

 Foundation of Saxon mint at Steyning, then accessible by water and lying at head of the Adur tidal estuary. This mint probably made coinage up to the end of the reign of William 11.

 The Manor of Broadwater was now owned by the Saxon Wigot of Wallingford.

 About 2,500 acres in area. It is believed that the sea `Broad Water’ came in to where east Broadwater is today.

 Bramber Rape granted to William de Braose

 The Domesday Survey showed that 104 people lived in the Parish of Broadwater, which then included Offington and Worthing and had a church. What today is Goring was then Garinges and contained four manors. Only 22 people, mainly poor fishermen, lived in the few cottages that constituted Worthing.

 In the Domesday Book, Ferring was valued at £7 and had 30 dwellings occupied by 15 villagers, 14 smallholders and one slave.

 Building of Bramber Castle

 Marlipins, High St, Shoreham built. Norman. Reconstructed C1300. Now museum.

 Offington now larger and more important than Roadwater.

 Unlicensed market being regularly held at Broadwater by Sir John-de-Gatesden.

 Sir Richard Le Wycke died in April this year. To him was attributed a `miracle’ said to have occurred at Ferring `when he caused bread sufficient for only 90 people to appease the appetites of 3,000.’

 Galfridus de Aspall, took the art of `pluralising’ to a finer point than most. In addition to being Rector of Findon he had a benefice in London, two in the diocese of Lincoln, one in Rochester, one in Hereford, another in Coventry, one in Salisbury and no less than seven in Norwich!

 Foundation of a hospital at Cokeham by William de Bernehouse.

 Offington was the principal `township’ of Broadwater parish.

 Brook Barn, Goring, was the home of William atte Brouk.

Worthing was separated from Broadwater by the tidal estuary of the Teville Stream to the north. This was probably the site of Worthing harbour recorded at this time (and in 1493).

 Sir Ralph-de-Camoys was granted a weekly Monday market at Broadwater.

 John de Camoys obtained first charter for a fayre at Broadwater on the eve, day and day after St Barnabas (June 11).

 Sea Place Manor, in Sea Place, Goring, was the home of a wool merchant.

 Durrington was noted for its splendid apple trees. Following the seige of Calais, many parishes sent locally produced cider to Shoreham for shipment to Calais; Durrington sent four times the amount provided by Goring or Worthing.

Offington House built around this time.

 Thomas de Camoys obtained a charter for a fayre at Broadwater

 Broadwater-Littllehampton road existed at this time.

 Market Charter granted to West Tarring

Circa 1500
 Brook Street (later to become South Farm Road, Worthing) existed.

 Sea Place Farm, Goring, containing 122 acres, was acquired by Robert Sherburn, Bishop of Chichester.

 Lord Dacre of Hurstmonceaux was executed at Tyburn for killing a keeper in a mad frolic at Laughton, 29 June.

 A small French military force `invaded’ Brighton on July 18.

 The earliest known map of Sussex, by Christopher Saxon, did not show Worthing at all but Broadwater and Terringe are in larger letters than Sountinge, Launcynge and Fyndon (later to become Sompting, Lancing and Findon).

 There was a school at Offington.

 At Patching, on Sept 16, a treasonable meeting was held between William Shelley, an ancestor of the poet, and Charles Paget. The two Roman Catholics `conferred on the possibility of invading England, deposing Queen Elizabeth and setting Mary Queen of Scots on the throne’. Nothing came of the plot but Shelley was imprisoned and condemned to death, though the sentence was commuted.

 John Selden, jurist and historian, was born at Lacies Farm, Salvington.

 Queen Elizabeth 1 killed deer with a crossbow at Cowdray, near Midhurst in August and also visited Buncton, near Ashington.

 The Chichester to Brighton road existed by this time and was the basis for what today is the A27.

 Manorial map of West Ferring shows that the seashore was one and a half fields (about 250 metres) south of the present shoreline.

 John Taylor, known as The Water Poet, visited Worthing.

 Population of Parish of Broadwater (including Worthing and Offington) was 370.

 Old church at Durrington (Durrington Chapel) destroyed during the Civil War by Cromwell’s men on their way to bombard Arundel Castle. The church was not rebuilt until 1915.

 Large 24-gun Spanish ship, the St James (from Dunkirk) ran ashore at Heene after being chased by Dutch warships. On the same day Sir William Waller was receiving the surrender of Arundel Castle for the Parliamentarians. Hearing of the wreck, Waller hastened to Broadwater and took possession of the ship and cargo, valued at £50,000, hoping to claim them as prize and pay his troops out of the proceeds. But he was ordered by Parliament to store the cargo in Arundel Castle. After several months delay the ship and cargo were returned complete to its owners while the disappointed Waller received just £4,000 to divide among his men and the thanks of the owners for saving their property `from the plundering propensities of the local inhabitants.’

 During the Civil War the Vicar of Ferring was replaced by `three Puritan preachers of the Gospel’ but a vicar was reinstated after the Restoration.

 Population of Goring was 140. Population of all Sussex now estimated at 40,000.

 Sir William Goring was lord of the manor

 A sea battle was fought off Beachy Head on June 30.

 Ferring had a population of 700.

 John Olliver, `The Miller of Highdown’ born at Ferring (or Lancing?)

 Fight between Customs officers and smugglers at Ferring.

 At this time the only access to Worthing for wheeled traffic was by way of Brooksteed Lane (later to become South Farm Road) and for those on foot a footpath known as the Sqashetts or Quashetts provided the only link between Broadwater and the centre of Worthing.

 A mill was built 120 yds west of Grand Ave on south side of Mill Road. The last mill built on this site was demolished in 1903.

 John Wilkes visited Worthing to watch return of the mackerel fishing fleet

 Last marriage ceremony performed in the Old Heene Chapel on June 2.

 Publication of Dr Richard Russell’s book `A Dissertation concerning the use of seawater in diseases of the glands’, which encouraged sea bathing as medicinally beneficial. It led to the beginning of Worthing’s seaside popularity and soon men were bathing naked from a boat off Worthing beach, while women disrobed in a small hut and plunged into the sea wrapped in `voluminous and nondescript garments.’

 First recorded visitor to Worthing, the son of Mr Peter Wych of Great Ormond Street, London, came to enjoy `sea air and bathing.’ He stayed in a farmhouse. Some felt that young Wych, as Worthing’s `first authentic visitor’, should have received some sort of local recognition, if only in a Wych Road.

 Warwick House, built by John Luther, became Worthing’s most important residence.

 John Nixon was born. He became an artist and painted some of the earliest still existing water-colours of the Worthing area, including the Old Sea House Inn in 1785 and the Cross Street Mill from the Teville Toll Gate. This is in the Worthing Museum and was reproduced in Ellery’s book Worthing, a Pictorial History. Nixon died in 1818.

 Chanctonbury Ring of beech trees was planted by Charles Goring of Wiston. Charles Goring was born in 1743 and his son John, who became Rev John Goring, in 1823 when his father was 80!

 Foundation of Broadwater Cricket Club and they played on Broadwater Green.

 Politician John Wilkes visited Worthing from Littlehampton to watch the return of the mackeral boats but was disappointed because owing to rough weather the fishermen had been unable to put out.

 Medieval church at Heene was demolished.

 Opening of the Worthing College for Young Gentlemen. Early in the 19th century it moved to a larger building later known as Beachfield, in Brighton Road, Worthing, where the Where the Worthing indoor swimming pool stands today.

 Bathing machines on Worthing beach, a `room on wheels’ dragged to the beach by a horse. No lady would have considered bathing without its protective presence. The reluctant bather was assisted by a `dipper’

 The Earl of Warwick purchased a house he renamed Warwick House, which had recently been built by a London property speculator, John Luther, `to provide lodgings for visiting gentry.’ It was located just north of today’s Steyne Gardens.

 In the late 1700s South Street was a lane just wide enough for two coaches to pass. There were inns on either side - kept by hosts with the unlikely pair of names of Hogflesh and Bacon!

 Death of John Olliver, the eccentric Miller of Highdown, buried head down in his self-built tomb on Highdown Hill.

 Yeakell & Gardner’s map shows Worthing with its present spelling for the first time.

 Naval signal station placed at Worthing.

 Worthing now had two main hotels, the New Inn (later the Marine Hotel) and the Sea House, later the Royal Sea House Hotel and afterwards, The Royal Hotel).

 Sea House Hotel was built, where before there had been `a small unpretentious inn.’ The hotel was later destroyed by fire and the site, at the south end of South Street, is now occupied by The Royal Arcade.

 The Malsters Arms was a popular inn at Broadwater.

 Princess Amelia, 15th and youngest child of George 111, came to Worthing on August 1, on the advice of the King’s physicians. A royal bodyguard of 120 men of the Derbyshire Militia arrived the next day and encamped nearby. Suffering from a lame knee, the Princess lodged at Bedford House, which stood to the north of today’s Dome Cinema but was demolished in 1940. The princess’s delicate health was considerably improved by her sea-bathing at Worthing and she left on December 7. But not before giving £20 from her `small income’ to be distributed among the poor of Broadwater. She was later to became an invalid and died in 1810 aged 27. While she was in Worthing the lawns of Summer Lodge (owned by a Miles Stringer) were offered by him for her to sit in the grounds and enjoy fresh air when the state of the tide prevented her being carried on to the beach.

 Worthing was illuminated to celebrate birthday of Princess Amelia, August 8th. Royal salute fired by the sloop `Fly’ and returned by the Militia drawn up on the seashore. The Prince of Wales visited his sister several times from Brighton.

 The exterior of Castle Goring was completed by Sir Bysshe Shelley at a cost of £90,000, though the interior was not to be finished until decades later. Shelley was a local landowner and one of Worthing’s first town commissioners. Castle Goring was sold in 1845 for £11,250.

 Year of the last execution and gibbeting to be carried out in Sussex.

 There were now two routes from London to Worthing, one via Sompting the other via Findon and Steyning. They converged in Broadwater.

 Coach from London arrived three times a week.

 Duke and Duchess of Northumberland stayed in Worthing.

 Thomas Trotter, a travelling actor-manager, opened a barn theatre in High Street; five years later replaced it with the New Theatre, later the Theatre Royal, Ann Street. Performances held only through `the season.’

 Building of a direct turnpike road from Horsham helped speed access to Worthing.

 Bedford Row built between 1802-1805.

 An Act of Parliament created a Board of Commissioners to govern Worthing, thus giving it the status of a town with a population of 2,500. The Commissioners first met at the Nelson Inn in South Street, on June 13. Landlord Edward Blann was paid half-a-guinea for use of the premises.

 Between 1803 and 1808 substantial and fashionable homes built on the north side of Warwick Street, on former agricultural land. Most had bow windows and steps leading up to elegant front doors.

 Opening of the Worthing to Ashington Turnpike Road via Findon, a factor of great importance to the development of the town. A coach service ran to London daily during the season.

 Tollgate was erected across the northern end of Chapel Road, just south of today’s Broadwater Bridge and was in place for 40 years.

 First Non-Conformist Chapel (later Congregational) built at the south end of Portland Road.

 Newcastle colliers unloaded on Worthing beach.

 Henry Dundas, First Lord of the Admiralty, stayed in Worthing.

 First record of seaweed being deposited in quantity on Worthing beach (by the receding tides).

 Publication of Worthing’s first town guide by John Evans. Called `Picture of Worthing’ it included an engraving of Warwick House and the Colonnade situated at the south end of High Street.

 Barracks built in High Street, Worthing, where company of regular soldiers stationed to prevent a French landing. Converted into a school in 1812. It noted: `There is accommodation for every class of visitor.’

 Ann Street built.

 Richard Cook, aged eight, was killed by the sail of a windmill in Teville Field on February 21.

 A cricket match was played on Broadwater Green for a stake of 500 guineas.

 Pony races being held on the sands.

 On August 16, a French privateer captured a sloop off Worthing but it was re-taken and escorted to Shoreham by a Revenue cutter commanded by a Captain Remus He then pursued and captured the privateer, thus becoming a local hero.

 Princess Charlotte, eight-year-old daughter of the Prince of Wales (who later became the Prince Regent) and Caroline of Brunswick, visited Worthing for the first time on July 24. She stayed at Warwick House. The Prince of Wales visited Worthing on August 10.

 The Ann Street Theatre, on the site now occupied by the Guildbourne Centre, was built by James (or was it Thomas?)Trotter at a cost of £6,992 2s.3d. (sold in 1856 to Wm Potter for £160) and opened with The Merchant of Venice on July 7. The Theatre Royal at Brighton opened the same year.

 Trotter lived in Worthing for nearly half-a-century and was also chiefly responsible for construction of Worthing Promenade `and greatly helped to lay the foundations of the modern town’.

 Opening of the Steyne Hotel, Worthing. Built by George Parsons, it was the town’s first purpose-built hotel. It also became the town’s Assembly Rooms and played an important role in life of the fast-developing town, becoming the town’s social center. By1811 it had an orchestra and organ and by 1813 a master of ceremonies. Front of the building was altered in 1860s and together with adjacent Stafford’s Marine Library and Rebecca House was provided with Victorian-style bay windows. It later became the Chatsworth Hotel.

 North side of Warwick Street built during this year.

 Henty’s Bank opened in Warwick Street

 Coastguard station errected at Worthing on site of the future Esplanade.

 The first Worthing Town Market was opened in Ann Street.

 In August, the Worthing coach overturned on its way to Brighton.

 Two of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s earliest works printed in Worthing

 Building of the Regency Ambrose Place, which was named after Ambrose Cartwright, one of the contractors.

 Times newspaper of Sept 28 1811 records that the emerging Georgian resort of Worthing `was crowded with fashionable visitors during August and September.’

 Steyne laid out and 23 lodging houses built in west side.

 Market Street built.

 Warwick Buildings, later the east side of Warwick Road, in existence by this time.

 Start of development west of South Street, on both sides of Montague Street (then called Cross Lane)’.

 Night coach added to the two daily coaches between Worthing and London.

 Public billiard rooms opened in the town.

 For the first time, Worthing outgrew Broadwater in both population and size - and the Worthing Commissioners moved their meeting place to the Royal George public house in Market Street.

 The Chapel of Ease (later St Paul’s Church) opened, having been built at a cost of £1,400. Designed by John Rebecca. Became St Paul’s Church in 1894.

 Building of Liverpool Terrace began.

 A band played in The Steyne.

 On the summit of Highdown Hill the `Gentlemen of the Weald’ played cricket against the `Gentlemen of the Sea Coast’.

 Queen Caroline visited Worthing but the town’s first boom was over, with many empty houses and much surplus accommodation. The resort continued to develop but at a slower rate.

 Worthing Free School for Boys opened on January 1.

Weekly packet boat between Worthing and Dieppe.

 Liverpool Terrace was built as Worthing’s best example of Regency architecture, designed by Henry Cotton. The land in front of it was laid out as a pleasure garden which included a splendid Gothic rural bower, a bowling green and archery ground.

 Princess Charlotte of Wales sailed to the Continent from Worthing.

Building of Ambrose Place.

 A Mr J. Jones appointed `superintendent of the Worthing fire engine.’

 Founding of the Worthing Provident Savings Bank.

 Early morning coach between Worthing and London provided a return service within the day.

 Body snatchers were arrested at Brighton on May 14. No wonder that Pinnock’s `History and Topography of Sussex’ describes Worthing as: `A hansome and fashionable watering and sea-bathing place, frequented by those who prefer retirement and quiet to the hustle and dissipation of Brighton.’

 A new Act of Parliament extended the powers of Worthing Town Commissioners and provided for levying a duty on coal to pay for the cost of sea defences. Before this, waves often drove shingle right up to the doors of seafront houses. Ladies of title sat on doorsteps and bathed their feet in the rippling water as it ran up to them.

 John Tidy, schoolmaster, artist and poet, established the Heene House Academy for Young Gentlemen in Heene Road. His two sons Alfred and Henry were artists and exhibited at the Royal Academy.

 Building of Beach House, designed by John Rebecca, and Highdown House built for the Lyon family.

 Second coastguard station erected on Heene boundary and remained in use until 1930s. Demolished 1977.

 Coastal freight service from London to Worthing (c.1820-30).

 Rental value of Worthing was £3,672 17s.6d and during this year two rates were levied each of two shillings (10p) in the pound. Rates were then paid on the gross annual value of a property. For example, annual rental value of the Steyne Hotel was £38, Sea House Hotel £28, Royal George Hotel £14 and Henty & Co’s Bank in Warwick Street £20.

 Worthing Esplanade was built, also the town’s first sea defences.

• York Terrace built C1822 by Edward Evershed. A terrace of five separate lodging houses with stucco facades, ionic pilasters, porches and balconies, was one of the town’s most impressive Regency buildings. It later became part of Warnes Hotel (see 1899).

 Publication of Horatio Smith’s `Select Society or a Week in Worthing.’

 Sea House, later the Royal Sea House Hotel, was built (it was destroyed by fire in 1901).

 Sir Bysshe Shelley, grandfather of the poet, gave land to the town for the building of Worthing’s first Town Hall at the junction of South Street and Warwick Street.

 Worthing now being described as `select’ and `particular suitable for children on account of its quietness decorum and safe bathing.’

 Wallis Guide Book of 1826 noted `Nothing can excel the spectacle that Worthing Esplanade presents when thronged, as it is every summer’s evening, with all the beauty and fashion of the place; while the opportunity it presents for inhaling the ocean breeze in unalloyed purity, and the defence it affords against the sea, stamp it with an importance commensurate with its attractive appearance.’. Guide books were prone to flattery in those days.

 Marine Hotel built.

 Built-up area of Worthing now reached West Buildings.

 Spire of Broadwater Church removed.

 Building started of Liverpool Terrace.

 Steam boats between Brighton and Isle of Wight called at Worthing.

 Roman urns and coins unearthed in area of Park Crescent (another in 1828)

 Building started of Park Crescent, Worthing, planned by Amon Wilds, the well-known Regency architect from Brighton. But it was halted because of a serious economic recession, leaving unbuilt the western half of the Crescent, the west gateway and other villas on the south side.

 Worthing was officially on verge of bankruptcy and debts of the Town Commissioners remained unsettled for many years.

 Worthing Dispensary, the town’s first hospital, was built in Ann St. One of its founders was Dr Frederick Dixon, son of Rev J. Dixon the rector of Sullington. Dixon was also a distinguished geologist and wrote The Geology of Sussex, published posthumously the year after his death from cholera in 1849.

 Princess Augusta, daughter of George 111 and sister of George 1V, arrived in November to spend the winter in Worthing. She stayed at Trafalgar House for the winter. It was afterwards renamed Augusta House in her honour. This later became the Stanhoe Hotel and was demolished in 1948.

 Opening of the rebuilt Sea House Hotel(?)

 Thomas Henty, farmer of Tarring, emigrated to Australia with his wife Frances and children Jane, Charles, Edward, John, Stephen and George. They took all their farming equipment, sheep and a several employees, sailing from Littlehampton in the ships Forth of Alloway and Caroline. They went on to start Australia’s giant sheep farming industry.

Circa 1829
 Building of Park Crescent began. Rebuilding of Sea House Hotel, Wg, by John Rebecca.

 The first cricket match was played between Sussex and Surrey.

 William Cowerson of Steyning was shot dead and several smugglers wounded, in an affray at the top of High Street, Worthing.

 New Parisian Baths built in Bath Place to replace hot sea-water bath opened in 1798.

 Norfolk Suspension Bridge, Shoreham, opened 1 May. Replaced in 1923.

 Worthing’s first gasworks opened in Anchor Lane (now Lyndhurst Road).

 Worthing’s first Town Hall (with clock) was built for £1,250.8s.lld at north end of South Street on land given by Sir Timothy Shelley, father of the poet and one of the town’s first Commissioners. Opened without ceremony, the architect was Decimus Burton. The building served as the Town Council chamber but also for many years as goal (with cells in the basement), sessional court, exhibition hall and fire station. It was demolished in June 1966 and the site is now the entrance to the Guildbourne Centre precinct.

 From 1835 vagrants were given two pennyworth of bread each and lodgings under the Town Hall, but so many took advantage of this it was stopped in 1860 when strict measures “eradicated the problem.”

 The town’s first unofficial historian, John Snewin, died on June 9.

 Accession of Princess Victoria to the throne on June 20 and one of  her first acts (on July 15) was to give Royal Assent to the Bill for construction of the London, Brighton and South Coast railway line. Until then up to six stage coaches arrived and left Worthing daily, some carrying the West of England mails.

 Total rateable value of Worthing was £5,472.16s.3d and the rateable value of the separate Parish of Heene was £350 (by 1897 it was £21,000).

 Worthing’s first Post Office in Warwick Street was run by a woman who also took orders for millinery. One postal delivery a day was made by two men.

 Sussex v All England cricket match was played on Broadwater Green.

 At this time, Marine Parade only extended to West Buildings.

 All inhabitants who were entitled to vote were `rated’ at one shilling each for their names being on the electoral register. There were 474 in this year but only 432 qualified to vote; the remainder had not paid the shilling demanded.

 To celebrate the coronation of Queen Victoria `the poor were feasted in the meadows’ on the west side of Chapel Road and South Street and a grand ball was held in the Steyne Hotel.

 Construction began of the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway and Charles Hide’s Survey and map of Worthing published.

 Founding of the Worthing Institute.

 Publication of Charles Hide’s `Survey’ and 25-in map of Worthing.

 The King and Queen Hotel opened on the seafront, offering accommodation to early Victorian visitors. By 1874 had become The Brunswick.

 First train ran from Brighton to Shoreham on May 11. The journey took eleven-and-a-half minutes and 1,750 passengers were carried and the first day.

 London to Brighton railway line opened on August 21.

 Death of George Parsons who built the Steyne Hotel and for many years owned the Sea House Hotel.

 Now 1,028 houses in Worthing.

 Queen Victoria and the Prince Consort wearing the uniform of a field marshal, visited Worthing on February 21, on their way to Portsmouth.

 Christ Church, Worthing, opened.

 One of two regular horse coaches to London ceased; there were now coaches and omnibuses running to Shoreham Station to meet the train service.

 In August, severe unrest and violence led to serious rioting in Bath Place outside Montague Hall where Salvation Army meetings were held. On August 20 local magistrate Thomas Wisden called in troops from Preston Barracks, Brighton, and the Riot Act was read on the steps of Worthing Town Hall.

 The second Worthing Dispensary (later Infirmary) opened in Chapel Road.

 Brighton to Shoreham railway line extended to Worthing on November 24.

 Branch of the London and County Bank established at 4 South Street.

 Third coastguard station built at south end of Ham Road but destroyed by the sea in 1847. After two successor buildingswere destroyed in 1850 and 1869, the station was not rebuilt again.

 Queen Victoria and Prince Consort paid their second visit to Worthing - on their way to Arundel Castle.

 Ambrose Cartwright, the builder and speculator whose name is immortalised by Ambrose Place, died on March 3.

 Railway opened between Worthing and Arundel on March 16, to Chichester on June 8 and to Portsmouth on June 16.

 Queen Adelaide stayed at the Royal Hotel, Worthing.

 Worthing’s population reached 5,000.

 A cargo of oysters was sold on Worthing beach at 9d per 100.

 Two mysterious deaths were reported: On May 29, a Mrs Anderton was burned to death at 13 Ambrose Place and on August 18 a William Lucas was burned to death at Teville Cottages.

 East Worthing coastguard station destroyed in the Great Storm.

 The railway was extended to Bognor.

 Setting up of turnpike trusts to control many roads through

 country areas into towns. They provided a road surface good

 enough for regular passage of stage coaches but the modest

 tolls affected merchants and farmers as well as pleasure

 travellers and added to the cost of living. Secondary roads

 were rarely more than flint and grit.

 Dowager Queen Adelaide visited Worthing

1850 or 1849(?)
 One of Worthing’s greatest sea tragedies, when eleven local fishermen were drowned while attempting to assist the ship Lalla Rookh in distress off Worthing.


 Publication of Edward Cresy’s report on the sanitary conditions of Worthing.

 Worthing began to emerge once again as one of Southern England’s principal seaside resorts.

 The portable stocks in front of Worthing Town Hall were used for the last time.

 Death of Thomas Trotter who ran the Worthing Theatre and was mainly responsible for building of Worthing’s seafront Promenade.

 Last meeting of the Worthing Town Commissioners on July 17. They were replaced by the Board of Health, whose first meeting was held on August 9.

 Broadwater Bridge was built and beside it the Worthing Corn Exchange (built by John Hampton).

 Death of Rev William Davison on April 24.

 Publication of Worthing’s first weekly newspaper, the Worthing Record.

 A great hailstorm on July 7 damaged crops, glass and property over a five-mile radius. Damage estimated between £30,000 and £40,000.

 Building started of a new Worthing waterworks in Little High St. Cost was £30,000 and the bricks were made on site from local clay. The water tower was 110ft high and the tank capacity 110,000 gals.

 Tarring Church and Sompting Church were both reopened after restoration.

 Opening of Davison School as a memorial to William Davison MA who founded the Worthing Free Schools. (In 1927 the school was rebuilt on the original site in Chapel Road but removed to a completely new site in East Worthing in 1960).

 A malthouse in North Street, Worthing, containing 4,000 qrs of grain, was destroyed by fire on April 28.

 Formation of Worthing Cricket Club; they played on Broadwater Green.

 Worthing Exhibition was held in the Town Hall from August to October. Organised by the Worthing Institute, exhibits included `pictures and manuscripts, hunting trophies, telescopes, sharks teeth and stuffed animals.’

 Eighteen inns and hotels listed in the town.

 Foundation stone laid for St Mary and St Nicholas College, Lancing, by Sir John Patteson.

 The ecclesiastical district of Christ Church was constituted by the Privy Council.

 Work started on an outfall sewer at Seamills Bridge, east Worthing.

 The Ann Street Theatre closed down on December 6.

 Rough seas washed away much of the Lancing Road.

 Davison Memorial School opened in Chapel Road.

 Worthing Water Works completed.

 Between 1857 and 1907 the highwater mark at East Worthing advanced by around 100 yards.

 Thirteen lives lost in a boat accident off Worthing on August 26.

 Building of Humphreys Almshouses, a group of handsome Sussex flint cottages on the south side of Christ Church.

 When demolished in 1970 they were described as a `great architectural loss to the town’.

 Opening of Lancing College, designed by R.C.Carpenter.

 Opening of the Gothic-style Christ Church National School

 in Portland Road, built at a cost of £33,500, which was raised mainly by the efforts of Rev P.B. Power, first vicar of Christ Church. (the building now houses the REPS health studios).

 Marie Amelie, Consort of King Louis-Philippe of France, stayed for six weeks in Worthing, accompanied by her family including seven sons, and a large retinue of servants. The party occupied the entire Royal Sea House Hotel.

 Population of Worthing now 5,805. Now 1051 houses in Worthing.

 Thirty-one passengers were killed in the first major South Coast railway disaster, in Clayton Tunnel north of Brighton.

 Chichester Cathedral spire fell down on February 21.

 On July 4, the first pile was driven for Worthing’s first iron pier. Designed by Robert Rawlinson, it was to cost £6,500, raised in £1 shares mostly bought by local residents. A simple jetty 960feet long and 18ft wide, it had a small toll-house at the land end.

 First Worthing Pier officially opened on April 12. Its designer Robert Rawlinson had also designed the Worthing waterworks. Financed by the Worthing Pier Company it cost £6,200 and was a basic iron structure 960ft long and16ft wide, with wooden decking leading to a platform at the sea end.

 The Christian Literary Institute opened in Montague Street.

 Wards for the reception of accident and surgery cases added to the Worthing Dispensary in Chapel Road.

 Opening of the Roman Catholic Church of St Mary of the Angels and the Sion Convent.

 Office built in Rowlands Road for the Commissioners appointed to administer the `New Town’ of West Worthing. They vacated the building 25 years later when West Worthing became part of the Borough of Worthing; the building then became a public library and School of Art.

 Heene Terrace of 18 four-storey houses erected as part of the new town of West Worthing, at the same time as West Worthing Esplanade.

 West Worthing Hotel built as part of Heene Terrace development, renamed The Burlington Hotel in 1890, following incorporation of Wg as a borough.

 Sale by the Shelley family of South Street Fields, on the west side of Chapel Road, the original Town Hall and South Street. This area was to be developed with terraced houses on the west side of Chapel Road and substantial houses in Liverpool Gardens.

 Worthing’s first official lifeboat, the Jane, was launched.

 Last public execution carried out at Lewes.

 Heene Road swimming baths built, designed by G.A. Dean in elaborate Gothic style. A small waterworks was added on north side and was to provide emergency supplies during the typhoid outbreak in 1893. The Heene baths were used until 1968 and demolished in 1973 to be replaced by the MGM Assurance offices.

 St George’s Church consecrated.

 Worthing’s first lifeboat, Jane, was launched.

Worthing’s first Pier built.

 Thirty-one carriers were providing a regular service of transportation journeys between Worthing and 56 towns and villages throughout Sussex.

 St George’s Church opened.

 Second Worthing Central Station built.

 Worthing Dispensary in Chapel Road further enlarged and re-named the New Worthing Infirmary.

 First Worthing street directory published by Frederick Lucy.

 Town of Worthing comprised 584 acres. Now has 1,471 houses.

 St Botolph’s Church opened on site of the old Heene Chapel.

32 inns and hotels in Worthing.

 Worthing Lifeboat House at 107 Marine Parade, built 20 yards east of the old Coastguard House. Ceased operating in 1930.

 Parish of Broadwater, which included Worthing, had a population of 2,735.

 Worthing township increased to 979 acres.

 In 1875/76 Skating rink opened in Montague Street in July and Edward William Lane, translator of “The Thousand and One Nights” died at Worthing in August.

 14 acres given by Charles Heather of Lyndhurst Villa for a `People’s Park’. (see opening in 1881).

 A drinking fountain, destined to be a landmark for many years, was erected in South Street by a Miss Brandreth.

 Roller skating rink opened on east side of Montague Place.

 Lifeboat `Jane’ saved the lugger `Harkaway’ from Shoreham, which was in distress off Worthing.

 On January 1 the sea swamped a large part of Marine Parade, South Street and Montague Street, stopping business for three hours.

 Opening of the Cliftonville Curve on outskirts of Brighton allowed through trains from Worthing to Victoria.


 Properties on the west side of Chapel Road were still private houses.

 Tramway opened Shoreham to Brighton, journey took two hours.


 Worthing now had a higher proportion of residents over 60-yrs-of-age than the rest of England and Wales.

 New Worthing Hospital opened in Lyndhurst Road, with 16 beds and four cots. Children’s ward added eight years later.

 Building of Worthing Baptist Church began in Christ Church Road.

 Combining 14 acres given in 1876 with two acres from Sir Robert Loder and Robert Dawes of Homefield (Homefield comes from `in the Home or Middle Field of Worthing Manor) Homefield Park is opened.

 Worthing now one of the two largest centres of glasshouse fruit and flower production in the country.

 Foundation stone laid for Holy Trinity Church, which was opened the following year.

 Worthing Gazette newspaper first published on July 12.

 New Worthing Assembly Rooms opened and Holy Trinity Church consecrated on July 25.

 The infamous Salvation Army riots, during which troops were called in from Brighton and the Riot Act read from Worthing Town Hall steps.

 Following Pier’s success, improvements made during this year included replacing the toll-house with two attractive kiosks, which were to survive the 1913 storm. One was the toll-house the other a bazaar or `fancy depository,’ selling souvenirs.

 Building of Esplanade Hotel, New Parade, where Oscar Wilde stayed in 1893 and wrote his most successful play, The Importance of Being Ernest.

 The telephone was introduced to Worthing by Councillor F.C. Linfield.

 H Company’s Worthing drill hall was opened.

 A fue de joie was fired by the 11th Sussex Volunteers in South Street, Worthing, to mark marriage of the Prince of Wales on March 14.

 Homefield Park (see 1881) enlarged with sports ground and lake.

 Poet William Jefferies lived in Goring for the last year of his life, first at Peacock Hall (where Mulberry Hotel now stands) then at Sea View, later to become known as Jefferies House. He died on August 14 and is buried at Broadwater Church.

 Queen Victoria’s golden jubilee celebrations on June 21 during which the main local event was the launching of Worthing’s new lifeboat, the Henry Harris, followed by races between local rowing clubs in four-oared galleys. The events were watched by 10,000 people.

 New Worthing Council offices were built in Liverpool Road.

 Death of Sir Bysshe Shelley, who built Castle Goring. He was grandfather of the poet Shelley.

1887 or 1888
 An H Feest was in the crew of The Minstrel, a `four-oared galley’ and won a £5 prize.

 Goring Hall destroyed by fire.

 St Andrew’s Church in Clifton Road officially opened.

 Worthing Pier strengthened and enlarged, with the addition of a pavilion holding 650 peopl and a landing stage (both at the sea end) for a cost of £12,000.

 Worthing’s second Pier opened by Viscount Hampden, Lord Lieutenant of Sussex on July 1. That night, illuminated by thousands of coloured lamps, an instrumental concert was held in the South Pavilion. Two attractive kiosks from this period survived until 1935.

 Opening of West Worthing railway station.

 Earthquake tremor felt in Worthing on May 30.

 New children’s ward opened at the Worthing Infirmary.

 The German fleet sailed down the Channel as the German Emperor watched from Worthing each.

 Collision between the barque `Vandalia’ and steamship t68Duke of Buccleugh off Bognor - much wreckage and hundreds of barrels ofv petroleum washed ashore at Worthing on March 7.

 Incorporation of Worthing and Heene into a single borough (total area now 1,425 acres) and the election of Alderman Alfred Cortis as Worthing’s first Mayor - much of his fame was due to him having been a crack shot. Arms of the borough show three mackerel and a cornucopia (horn of plenty) with a motto meaning `from the earth abundance, from the sea health.’

 Worthing now covered 1,425 acres.

 In July, a pleasure boat capsized off Goring and Christopher Newman drowned.

 Horse bus `Victoria’ wrecked and both horses killed by colliding with the portico of Royal Sea House Hote.

 Population of Worthing now 14,500.

 Rebuilding of Arundel Castle, which continued until 1903.

 At this time the Eardley Hotel, near Splash Point, was still the Eardley Boarding Establishment run by a Miss Butler

 Population of Worthing had increased to 16,606.

 Presentation of mace and chain to the Borough on behalf of their subscribers.

 In August, Joseph Puttick crushed to death at Broadwater Chalk Pit.

 Trains snowed up all night in a severe snow storm.

 November 11, the German barque Capella and Norwegian schooner King Karl XV were driven ashore at Worthing. The schooner broke up but the Capella was successfully refloated.

 Borough of Worthing bye-laws with respect to Public Bathing 1892 stated that `Regulation Costume means a Garment or Combination of Garments extending from the neck to the knees, and being of a thickness, material, shape and otherwise sufficient to effectually prevent indecent exposure of the person of the bather. Penalty for infringement £5.’

 Severe thunderstorms in June, with parts of the town extensively flooded.

 A Captain Davis of Worthing, annexed the Gilbert Islands on behalf of the Crown.

 Opening of the John Horniman Convalescent Home for children.

 The site of a Saxon settlement was unearthed during tree planting on Highdown Hill . Finds included a Saxon cemetery, considered one of the most important Saxon burial sites in Sussex. More than 10 bodies were found.

 It became known as Fever Year after the outbreak of typhoid in Worthing. More than 1300 people caught the disease and 188 died between May and September. It was a serious, though temporary, setback in the development of Worthing.

 The Chapel of Ease became the Worthing parish church of St Paul’s.

 Building began of the Metropole Hotel at south end of Grand Ave. Stopped due to bankruptcy and only completed in 1923 as The Towers flats.

 Oscar Wilde wrote his most popular play, `The Importance of Being Ernest’ in three weeks while staying in a rented room in The Esplanade, off Brighton Road, Worthing. He named one of the principal characters Mrs Worthington. That summer he also presented the prizes at Worthing Regatta.

 Mayor of Worthing Robert Piper, the largest grower in the area, guaranteed the cost of Worthing’s first countrywide newspaper advertising campaign for `the season.’

 An `elaborate and costly’ new Worthing drainage scheme was created at a cost of over £100,000. The sewer outfall was located two miles east of the town, extending 400 yards out to sea from highwater mark so that the outlet was below the lowest tide.

 Another promoter of Worthing at this time was G.H. Warne, who converted York Terrace in the Steyne into Warnes Hotel and helped attract motorists by claiming it to be the first hotel garage in England.

Kelly’s directory of 1895 reported that the principal Victorian legacy to Sussex was the `main dependence on its bathing towns.


 First public library opened at 93 Rowlands Road on Dec.21st.

 Demolition of Warwick House, which stood just north of present-day Elm Road.

 The parish of Broadwater encompassed 2,735 acres.

 Old wooden railway bridge over River Adur demolished to be replaced by steel railway bridge.

 The first Rafferty’s map of Worthing was published.

 Population of Worthing now 19,500.

 To celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, a plan was promoted by Alderman F.C. Linfield at a public meeting to extend the seafront parade from Warwick Road to The Esplanade and ultimately to Navarino Road.

 Rateable value of Worthing now £86,333.17s.6d. That of the Parish of Heene, £21,000.

 Opening of Worthing’s new Waterworks by the Duke of Cambridge.

 An elegant `birdcage’ style bandstand was built on Worthing seafront promenade, replacing a portable bandstand occasionally used on same site. Built by W.Macfarlane of Glasgow.

 Worthing’s own Theatre Royal opened in Bath Place; the building had previously been the town’s Assembly Rooms.

 G.H. Warne converted York Terrace into Warnes Hotel, the town’s premier hotel complete with Palm Court sextet performing daily in the ballroom. A pioneering motorist, Warne opened what was claimed to be the first garage incorporated in a hotel.

 Reminiscences of Edward Snewin, Worthing’s first historian, published in the Worthing Gazette. Born two years before Battle of Waterloo, he died in 1900.

 Opening of St Matthew’s Church, in Tarring Road.

 Building began of what was planned as the Metropole Hotel, a splendid edifice at the sea end of Grand Avenue. The drawings gave it a south frontage bigger than Buckingham Palace! Sadly, due to lack of funds building abruptly ceased and it was abandoned. Not until 1922 was it converted into flats and renamed The Towers.

 Steyne Gardens given to town by Lady Loder.

 Forty eight hotels and public houses in Worthing.

 Building began of what was planned as the Metropole Hotel, a splendid edifice at the sea end of Grand Avenue. The drawings gave it a south frontage bigger than Buckingham Palace! Sadly, due to lack of funds building abruptly ceased and it was abandoned. Not until 1922 was it converted into flats and renamed The Towers.

 Steyne Gardens given to town by Lady Loder.

 No of houses in Worthing now 4,075 (quadrupled in last 40 yrs).

 Public (Worthing Corporation) electricity supply inaugurated in September.

 Part of a Roman slab discovered in Grand Avenue, inscribed DIVI-CONSTANT PII-AVG-FILIO (Son of the Divine Empero Constantius).

 Opening of Victoria Recreation Ground.

 Worthing at the beginning of this century witnessed thousands of free oranges being washed onto the beach from the wreck of a small cargo ship called Indiana. A surfeit of locally produced marmalade followed!

 On May 21, the Royal Sea House Hotel was destroyed by fire.

 August 7 saw the launching of Worthing lifeboat Richard Coleman. The public electricity supply came to Worthing and Steyne Garden’s .

 116 acres at Lancing chosen as site for new Railway Works by London, Brighton and South Coast Railway.

 Methodist Church officially opened next to Steyne Gardens.

 Part of a Roman milestone found in Grand Avenue.

 The Broadway, in Brighton Road, built on what had been the front garden of Warwick House, demolished a few years earlier.

 Opening of Victoria Park.

 The Worthing Extension Order resulted in villages of Broadwater and West Tarring being incorporated into the Borough of Worthing, leaving the way open for building development north of the railway line. Worthing now covered 2,639 acres.

 Principal streets of Worthing were illuminated with electricity from the new Corporation works in High Street, built at a cost of £40,000.

 Erection of memorial on seafront at Steyne Gardens to commemorate Wg dead of South African War.

 New Congregational Church, Shelley Road, opened.

 New golf course laid out under supervision of Harry Vardon on

 540 acres of Downland slopes. Entrance fee for men was £3.3s,

 with a similar annual subscription. For women, entrance fee was

 £2.2s and annual subscription £1.11s.6d.

 Construction of Ham Bridge railway halt (became East Wg Halt in 1949).

 Chapel Road was widened by narrowing the wide pavements by several feet.

 A Cinderella Coach drawn by three goats was a popular feature on the sea front.

 King Edward V11 visited his friend Sir Edmund Loder at Beach House several times between 1907 and 1910 and considered buying the property.

 Three pots containing 432 coins were unearthed on what is now the Woods Way Industrial Estate, at Goring. All but three of the coins were imitation Romano-British currency, known as `barbarous radiates,’ which were in circulation around AD 280.

 Gen.Booth head of Salvation Army visited Wg Aug 16th.

 Long curved shelter built between beach and the birdcage bandstand, west of the Pier.


 King Edward V11 stayed at Beach House several times between 1908 and 1910 as guest of Sir Edmund Loder. Beach House later became the home of American actor and playwright Edward Knott before being purchased by the Town Council.

 First purpose-built Wg Public Library and Museum opened in new building on site of former Richmond House, on corner of Richmond Rd and Chapel Rd.(Part paid for by US billionaire)

 C.A.Seebold built The Kursaal (to become The Dome after the First World War) in the garden of Bedford House. Originally a roller skating rink and concert hall (on the first floor) it became Worthing’s first permanent cinema in 1921.

 Wg Motor Services created. Existed as corporate body until 1915 when it amalgamated to form Southdown Motor Services.

 Earl Winterton (Conservative) elected MP for the Horsham and Worthing Parliamentary division.

 Shoreham Airport came into being, built on saltmarsh. First recorded user was ex-Lg College pupil HH Piffard who flew aircraft “Mayfly” attaining altitude of 30ft.

 Worthing Central railway station completed.

 Population of Worthing 30,300.

 OC Morison flew from Hove Lawns to Lancing College in seven minutes. Planes in Paris-London “Circuit of Europe” race refueled at Shoreham.

 Disaster struck Worthing Pier at Easter. On night of March 22 a severe storm reduced the promenade section of the pier to a twisted wreck leaving the South Pavilion (soon nicknamed Easter Island) as a tourist attraction.


 Re-opening of the re-built Pier, nearly a thousand feet long, on May 29 by the Lord Mayor of London, Sir T. Vansittart Bowater.

 Carl A Seebold appointed musical director of The Picturedrome in Chapel Road, with a qurtet comprising himself (violin), ‘cello , piano and organ.


 The First World War broke out on August 4 and in the first two weeks 365 Worthing men signed up `to serve King and Country’ and a cyclist (wearing bright red stockings!) was arrested in Broadwater on suspicion of being an enemy spy. He turned out to be a Scottish artist with sketches of Sussex scenes in his basket!

 The war was to claim the lives of 600 Worthing men and women.

 There was a Royal Flying Corps airfield and training depot at Goring, between the railway line to Littlehampton and east from Limbrick Lane.

The Beach Hotel opened at 4 Marine Parade, expanding into the entire parade by 1936, when, with the incorporated Prince Albert Convalescent Home, was remodeled in Art Deco style.

 Formation of Southdown Motor Services.

 Eric Pashley, brother of Cecil (they founded Sx Aero Club at Shm) killed while flying with RFC in France after shooting down 10 enemy planes.

 RFC training station almost completed at Goring when war finished. Bounded by Littlehampton Rd, The Boulevard and Limbrick Lane.

 Worthing Corporation purchased the Pier for £18,978. Bathing was now allowed from the pierhead for 4d and steamers made frequent trips to Brighton, Eastbourne, Hastings, Littlehampton, Bognor, the Isle of Wight and Southampton.

 Worthing Herald newspaper first published on May 15.

  There were now 200,000 cars on the roads of Britain.

 Population of Worthing was 35,215 including 3,690 holiday visitors; the population of Goring 6,630.

 Town buys Pier.

 Wg War Memorial, Chapel Rd, unveiled to crowd of 7,000.

 Shoreham toll footbridge to Bungalow Town opened. Toll one penny.

 Denton Gardens, given to town by Alderman Denton.

 Croquet was a popular attraction in Homefield Park, where it could be played for 2d an hour per player.

 The Theatre Royal in Bath Place was regularly visited by London theatre companies, with matinee performances on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons and and evening performances at 8pm. Patrons paid a guinea (£1.1s) a head for a private box, stall tickets were four shillings and the back rows three shillings; dress circle front row seats were four shillings with other rows two shillings; pit stalls two shillings and sixpence, pit one shilling and the gallery sixpence.

 In Chapel Road, almost opposite St Paul’s Church, was a large picturehouse able to accommodate an audience of 1,000. In the same building, concerts were given in the 500-seater Connaught Hall.

 Opening of Norfolk Suspension Bridge (toll paying) at Shoreham. Congestion caused toll payment to be abolished in 1927

 Beach House Park and 2-acre Denton Gardens opened.

 Worthing’s first major purpose-built cinema, the Rivoli, opened in Chapel Road. Built by Carl A Seebold for £80,000 on site of Worthing Lodge (now Rivoli Court near Methold House). The Italianate building, which seated 1,700, had a recessed stone facade surmounted by an illuminated globe and sliding roof, and foyer with tearoom above. Also a specially built two-manual pipe organ with effects. Also an 11-piece orchestra led by Wistow Wyles and including Seebold’s sister. It opened on March 10, 1924 with film Robin Hood. The auditorium burnt down in January 1960 and later served as an auction room until final demolition in 1984.

 A caravan and camping site grew up near the beach, south of what is now Alinora Crescent. Some of the `caravans’ were converted ex-railway carriages.

 Tramocar service started between Pier and Grand Avenue. With solid tyres the ride was uncomfortable, which was why distances were limited. Steering by tiller operated by driver’s right hand, leaving left hand for changing gear.

 A spacious new band enclosure, constructed on steel piling, replaced the old `birdcage’ bandstand on the seafront promenade. Designed by Adshead and Ramsey at a cost of £25,000. The semi-circular arena being over 200ft in length, with 150ft extending over the shingle. Canopied stage faced 800 covered seats around the outside and center offered further capacity of 1,400.

 Pavilion concert hall (the Pier Pavilion) was built at the landward end of Worthing Pier, replacing the two kiosks. Designed by architects Adshead and Ramsey.

 Worthing Spiritualist Church, next to Humphreys Almshouses, opened by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes.

 Worthing’s new Public Library and Museum opened. Total cost was £11,000, with £6,250 contributed by American multi-millionaire industrialist and philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie. The library contained 15,000 books for lending, plus 5,500 reference volumes.

 Goring became Goring-by-Sea and at this time still had a parish council.

 Beach House grounds bought by Worthing Corporation.

 Tolls on Norfolk Suspension bridge, Shm, abolished because of traffic congestion caused.

Trees in the middle of The Broadway, Brighton Road, removed

 The parishes of Durrington and Goring-by-Sea were added to Worthing Borough, which then covered 7,227 acres.

 First regular dustcart collections made in Goring.

 Proposal for a new Empire Theatre or cinema to replace the New Theatre Royal, Bath Place, Worthing.

 The canopied stage of Worthing’s seafront bandstand was converted to a domed structure.

 Steam train journey Worthing to London took one hour twenty minutes.

 Opening of new Worthing GPO in Chapel Rd.

 Beginning of 10 years of building expansion at Goring. Many new roads were made and the population doubled within 10 years.

 Marine Gardens (two acres) opened.

 Worthing’s lifeboat withdrawn from service (but exhibited in lifeboat building on seafront until 1950).

 The Connaught Theatre opened April 25.

 Population of Worthing 46,224.

 Nov 10: Many Wg roads flooded during major storm.

 Introduction of electric train service between Worthing and London

 Jan 1st. Plaza Cinema (2,012 seats)opened in Rowlands Rd, Worthing. Built in rendered Deco style it had a ballroom, cafe and fully equipped stage which originally was used for live variety performances. It had a Compton 3/10 organ on a lift with illuminated glass console. Removed in 1970 and now owned by Robert Purvis in Melville, Perth, Australia. Plaza opened on Dec 14 having won a neck-and-neck race with the rival Odeon. In 1934, after an attempt to purchase by Carl A Seebold, it was acquired by Odeon and leased to Associated British Cinemas (ABC). Closed as cinema 1968 and became a bingo hall.

 Worthing further enlarged by the addition of Findon and Sompting, making a total of 8,025 acres.

 New neo-Georgian Worthing Town Hall in Chapel Road officially opened by Prince George (later the Duke of Kent). Designed by architect Charles Cowles-Voysey and chosen from 43 competing designs, the building cost £175,000 and replaced two large private villas, Tudor Lodge and Fairlawn.

 Worthing Pier’s south pavilion destroyed by fire (rebuilt within two years at cost of £18,000).

 Edward Prince of Wales (later King Edward V111) became a frequent visitor to Highdown House, home of the Stern family.

 The Odeon Cinema in Liverpool Road opened by Worthing and Horsham MP, Earl Winterton, on March 23. Otto Deutsch was present. Built in brick and tile Deco style with distinctive belvedere tower and bow-fronted restaurant, the 1,600-seat cinema cost £40,700. It had a Compton 3/6 organ with illuminated glass console on a lift (this was scrapped in 1962).. The Odeon got three screens in 1974, but closed down in Sept 1986, when leasehold bought by Avon Devpt Group as a site for part of the Montague Shopping Centre. It had been a listed building but was de-listed and demolished.

 Lake in Homefield Park removed.

 Most of the Goring Hall Estate was purchased by development company Hesketh Estates of Southport, who planned to build new housing between Sea Lane, Goring, in the west and from the sea to Littlehampton Road. Also on land which is now Maybridge and east of Titnore Lane to North Brook Farm. In the end, only a quarter of the estate was developed,though some roads were laid out in preparation within the Goring Gap west of the Plantation. The company later made a gift of Ilex Avenue and the Plantation for public recreation.

 More than 53,000 day trippers visited Worthing on August Bank Holiday.

 Worthing’s new Assembly Hall opened in Stoke Abbott Road.

 The New Connaught Theatre, in Union Place, was opened on September 25 by entrepeneur Charlie Bell and actor W. Simpson Fraser (he was later better known as TV comedy actor Bill Fraser).

 George V Hotel opened in Goring Road in time for Silver Jubilee celebrations of George V.

 Shoreham Airport became Brighton, Hove and Worthing Municipal Airport.

 Claud Moat, owner of Smugglers Farm, gave land in Brook Barn Way on which St Laurence’s Church was built - for just £1,500.


 Beach House grounds given into public domain. Boating and paddling pools created in the grounds. A row of 48 beach chalets opened on southern boundary, with a sun terrace above.

 The Mulberry Hotel opened in Goring Road.

 A soil ramp was made for a projected bridge over the railway just east of Goring-by-sea station, but the Second World War stopped it being built. It was to be completed 50 years later.

 Windscreen erected down center of the Pier and centrally-located amusement arcade erected and opened.

 Now more than two million cars on roads of Britain.

 493 people had Southern Railway season tickets for commuting to London on daily business.

 Highdown Hill became National Trust property and electrification came extended to the railway lines between Worthing to Chichester.

 Worthing now has seven separate recreation grounds (total of 50 acres) and ten public parks.

 At the outbreak of war, Worthing had a population of 67,375, but Ferring had a population of only 400, just 100 more than in 1700.

 Worthing Pier taken over by military and part of center section blown up to prevent enemy troops landing.

 Field Place in Goring was the wartime administration HQ for the local radar RAF radar installations which played a major role in winning the Battle of Britain.

 Splendid iron gates at the beginning of Ilex Way and around Worthing’s public parks were taken `for the war effort’. Later this was discovered to have been a morale-boosting propaganda pretence, the metal being totally unsuitable for transforming into munitions.

 Worthing Corporation displayed considerable foresight in purchasing 50 acres of land along the foreshore between Sea Place, Goring, and Sea Lane, Ferring, for £33,250, for use as a public recreation area.

 A large detachment of Canadian troops were billeted at Goring and in the following months thousands more troops with tanks and armoured vehicles arrived in the Worthing area during the build-up which culminated in the D-Day landings in France.

 Residents of Worthing were among the first to know that the D-Day invasion of mainland Europe had arrived when hundreds of planes and gliders passed over the town, loaded with troops on their way to Normandy.

 On the home front, the Goring-by-sea People’s Association was formed, with 300 members. By 1947 there were a thousand members and it was being described as the `most lively body in the Borough.’

 Worthing’s oldest house (built of Sussex flint at 78 High Street in 1762) was demolished. Today the site is covered by part of the Safeway supermarket.

 The Inland Revenue took over military buildings near Durrington Station.

 Town Council decided to demolish Beach House but the decision was reversed after a public inquiry.

 Beginning of the decline in Worthing’s local family-owned greenhouse nursery businesses, which over decades had grown millions of pounds weight of the world-famous `Worthing tomato’. From 130 acres under glass this year it dropped to 42 acres within the next ten years.

 Restored Worthing Pier re-opened to public.

 Princess Elizabeth visited Worthing on May 19 and opened Courtlands as a post-operative hospital.

 Population of Worthing 69,431, of which 24.6 per cent over the age of 65, highest proportion for any town with a population of over 50,000 in England and Wales.

 July/Aug.Angela Barnwell of Wg, fastest woman swimmer in Britain, is finalist in the Helsinki Olympics. Only Wg competitor to reach this position. Returned to a hero’s welcome at Town Hall. She later died of leukemia.

 Peter Pan’s Playground opened in Beach House grounds.

 John Selden’s cottage at Salvington demolished, a move described by protesting historians and the early glimmerings of the preservationist movement as `official vandalism’.

 First of many reports on the affects and possible cure of Worthing’s seaweed problem published by Town Council.

 Opening of a new Goring Public Library at corner of Mulberry


 Seaweed report published by Borough Council.


 Two railway porters at Goring station, Harry Ratley and Charlie

 Challen, with over 80 years service between them, won the Southern Region Best Kept Railway Station prize - and went on to repeat the achievement in 1958 and 1959.

 Winston Churchill visited the Connaught Theatre, Worthing on October 10, to watch his actress daughter Diana in a play. He had also stayed at Warnes Hotel, Worthing, during the war.

 Brooklands Park, with lake, opened to public.

 The superb west gateway of Park Crescent was saved from demolition by local residents and for £2,000 was restored to their original condition.

 Seafront promenade Bandstand converted into an open-air unheated swimming pool and renamed The Lido, opening in summer months only.

 Denton Lounge (now the Café Denton) opened as an annexe to the Pier Pavilion.

 Palatine Park, Goring, opened.

 31 per cent of Worthing population now 65 or over.

 Population of Goring now 18,791.

 Muntham Court demolished.


 Offington Hall and Charmandean House demolished in major private property redevelopment schemes.

 Harold Pinter, playright, actor and producer, lived at 14 Ambrose Place (for two years.

 Roman-British pottery sherds found during rescue excavations on site of demolished St Paul’s Church schoolroom, on north side of Richmond Road.

 Demolition of Worthing’s Old Town Hall.

WG Nov 15 Chris Evans spoke at Worthing High School on BBC monopoly.

 Flurry of UFO reports in Worthing, Lancing and Storrington ranging from “huge glowing balls” to “cigar shapes pointed at both ends” and crosses.

 Worthing still has over 700 houses lacking hot water supply, internal toilet and bathroom. Some still had only gas lighting.

 October: Worthing’s new Law Courts, Christchurch Rd opened by Attorney General Sir Elwyn Jones.

 New drink and drive ligislation introduced. All Worthing Safety Ctte breathylised.

 Opening of Aquarena indoor swimming pool next to Beach House grounds.

 Broadwater Bridge re-opened after being widened.

 Between May and Sept Worthing attracted 55,000 visitors who stayed for more than a day and 520,000 day visitors – a large proportion over 65 years of age.

 Demolition of the old (and long disused) Ann Street Theatre, together with adjacent Omega Cottage, which was theatre manager Thomas Trotter’s home on the north side of Ann Street and the whole of Market Street. The site is now covered by the Guildbourne Centre, flats and a multi-storey car park.

 Worthing now covers 8,060 acres, the latest addition due to reclamation.

 Population of Worthing now 88,407, with 34 per cent aged 65 and over.

 The Warren School demolished.

 Courtlands becomes the administration centre for the area’s Health Authority.

 Worthing ceased being a municipal borough, changing to a District Council with Borough status.

 Demolition of the old West Worthing Commissioners’ office in Rowlands Road.

 Opening of the town centre Guildbourne redevelopment of shops, flats and multi-storey car park.

Opening of new public library in Richmond Road.

 New Emmanuel Church opened.

 Remains of an ancient villa discovered on site while Northbrook College is being built. Probably a Romano-British farmstead occupied in the second and third centuries AD.

 Population of Goring 20,973.

 Warne’s Hotel burned down.

 Odeon cinema closed

 Second Worthing seaweed report published.


 English Bowls Association built their headquarters in Beach House Park.

 Goring Hall School closed.

 Odeon Cinema demolished.

 The Lido pool closed and The Lido converted to an `entertainment centre’ by a member of the Smart family.


 Borough Centenary celebrations; Amelia Park opened.

 Montague Shopping Centre opened.


 New Council Offices, Portland House, opened in Richmond Road.

 World Bowls Championships held in Worthing with competitors from 28 countries.

 Population of Ferring 4,000

 Proposals for new Unitary Authority rejected.

 Parliamentary constituancy split into East Worthing and Shoreham, and Worthing West.

 Hoard of Roman gold and silver coins unearthed at Patching, believed buried circa 460AD.

 New east wing of Worthing Hospital opened.

 Bicentenary of Princess Amelia’s stay in Worthing passed without any official commemoration.

 Estimated population of Worthing 92,000.