Heritage Lottery Fund

Torrin writes about The Origins of Shoreham by Sea

Shoreham by Sea

Shoreham by Sea is situated on the left bank of the river Adur where the river meets the opening of the English Channel. In the late 11th century a new town was created on the edge of the river’s mouth which was later christened New Shoreham to separate it from the even earlier settlement of Old Shoreham. The port of New Shoreham became one of the most important channel ports in the world in the 12th and 13th centuries. Sadly its popularity decreased in the 14th century and didn’t increase in the years going forward.

Its usefulness for shipbuilding was somewhat marred by the irregular timed blockages of the river mouth caused entrance to the port move further eastward. Increasing the length of the harbour a welcome addition to the space the workers had to create the ships that would help great leaders to defeat smaller invading fleets and shape the coastline and future if the country for years to come. It is believed the Saxons landed at the mouth of the River Adur in 500 AD and named the town Soresham.  This is again referenced in the Domesday Book in 1086 not long after the Norman Invader William the first conquered England. Later on in the Norman rule trade expands rapidly with the major importation of wine and the even bigger trade of exporting wool.


In 1189 King John lands at Shoreham- as it is newly christened. With a large army and trade expands exponentially. By the beginning of the 13th century Shoreham has become a Royal Arsenal and an important station for the landing and embarking of troops.  The modern day port is a thriving hub for timber importation across the country with large boats constantly criss- crossing the water ways spreading trade across the country.    

By Torrin