From Kelly’s Post Office Directory of Essex, Herts, Middlesex, Kent, Surrey and Sussex, 1867
WORTHING is a fishing and market town, watering-place, railway station on the South Coast line, and polling place for the Western division of the county, in the parish of Broadwater, rape of Bramber, Brightford hundred, East Preston union, diocese and archdeaconry of Chichester, and rural deanery of Storrington, 61¼ miles from London, 12 west from Brighton, and 21 from Chichester. From, an inconsiderable fishing village it has risen to a town of importance. Towards the close of the last century the visit of the Princess Amelia appears to have given it an importance which most other towns are long in acquiring. The subsequent visits of the Princess Charlotte and Queen Caroline, on different occasions, contributed to its popularly, and in 1849 her late Majesty the Queen Dowager and suite paid a visit here for a fortnight. Worthing is on the coast of Sussex, sheltered on the land side, by an amphitheatre of chalk downs, and has on the sea side a long range of smooth sands, extending 4 miles to the east and 9 to the west, The town is well laid out, and has some good streets.
A handsome iron pier has been erected at the bottom of South-street: it is 960 feet long, 15 feet wide, cost £4,182, and was opened 12th April, 1862: there were 258½ tons of iron used in its construction; Robert Rawlinson, Esq., C.E., was the engineer; William Hugh Dennett, Esq., is the solicitor and secretary to the Worthing Pier Company Limited. The Steyne consists of 3 acres in front of Warwick House.
Petty sessions are held here. The Corn Exchange is close to the railway station, and a market is held there every alternate Wednesday. The fishing is chiefly for mackerel and herrings for the supply of the London market.
Christ Church, erected in 1843, contains nearly 1,000 sittings, one-half of which are free: it has a splendid organ, by Bryceson, of London. The annual value of the living is £300, in the gift of the Rector of Broadwater, and held by the Rev. F. Cruse, B.A., of St. Edmund Hall, Oxford.
The chapel of ease, erected in 1812, is a perpetual curacy value £150 per annum, in the gift of the Rector of Broadwater, and held by the Rev. William. Read, M.A., of St. John’s College, Cambridge.
There are chapels for Independents, Wesleyans, and Christian Brethren.
Six almshouses for six aged poor men and their wives, members of the Church of England, were erected and endowed, to perpetuate the pious memory of Harry Humphreys, Esq., by his sorrowing parents. in 1858, and two others are now being added. There are also St. Elizabeth’s almshouses, for four single women.
The baths are very good: besides the machines on the beach, there is a bathing establishment for warm, cold, and medicated vapour baths, known as the Royal Baths, situated on the Marine-parade.
Two large buildings, Montague Hall and the Christian Institute, both in Montague street, are used for lectures, concerts, &c. Public meetings are presided over by a high constable, who is appointed yearly at a court leet of the Duke of Norfolk.
There are libraries, well supplied with the morning and evening papers and general periodicals. Assembly-rooms are attached to the Steyne Hotel.
The government of the town is carried on by the local board of health, under whose superintendence an improved system of drainage has been carried out, and a constant service of pure water laid on to every house: its sanitary provisions are now unexcelled; the effects of this are apparent in the rate of mortality, as published by the Registrar-General, being less than most towns: since the sanitary improvements have been in operation there have been a great increase in the number of visitors: many now adopt it as their winter residence, on account of the mildness and equability of its climate: the variation of temperature is less than at most places in England, except two.
Worthing College, for the education of young gentlemen, stands at the eastern end of the town: it is conducted by the Rev. F. A. Piggott, M.A., of Trinity College, Cambridge.
On Lancing Down Roman remains have been found; and at Cissbury is an earthwork of 60 acres, which appears to have been used by the Britons and Romans.
Several estates, called respectively Farncombe, College, Selden, and Alexandra, are now being built upon, and the town is increasing rapidly in every direction.
There is an Infirmary.
National schools have been erected in Chapel-street, at a cost of nearly £4,000.
The first Infant school in England was founded here in 1817, and an elegant building for the purpose has bean erected in memory of the Rev. W. Davison, the founder, and former incumbent of the chapel of ease.
The following parishes are in the Worthing county court district:- Broadwater, Heene, West Tarring, Durrington, Sompting, Lancing, Buttolphs, Combs, Findon, Goring, Kingston, West Ferring, Wiston, East Preston, Clapham, Patching, Washington, Ashington, and Warminghurst.
The population, with Broadwater, in 1861 was 6,466.
Heene is a small parish, formerly extra parochial, adjoining Worthing, on the west, and is more generally called West Worthing: it has neither church nor chapel and is included in the East Preston poor law union, the inhabitants supporting their own poor: it is in the Western division of the county, rape of Bramber, and Worthing county court district. The ecclesiastical commissioners hold the great tithes’ rent-charge, and pay a stipend to the vicar of the adjoining parish of West Tarring, at which church the inhabitants have the right to attend. The property of this parish, with the exception of a few small holdings, has been purchased by the West Worthing Investment Company Limited, who have erected several mansions and first-class houses, a large and well appointed hotel, baths, assembly rooms, water works, &c., and are greatly improving the beach and neighbourhood. The area is 546 acres; population, 194.
Letters through Worthing.