1782 Bridge
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Article from Sussex County Magazine 1935
Old Shoreham Bridge


Painting of the original 1782 bridge, showing that the 1916 rebuild was to the same design
Watercolour by Myles Birket Foster 1825-1899
In a Private Collection, used by permission

The following is a contemporary account of the opening of the old wooden bridge at Shoreham which was built in 1781, and opened in March, 1782. 
It is taken from the Sussex Weekly Advertiser of March 25th, 1782. See illustration below (as rebuilt 1916).

"On Thursday last, the 2d instant, the long wished for bridge, at Shoreham, was opened for the passage of carriages, etc. The Earl of Surrey, who attended on the occasion, preceded by a band of music, and accompanied by the gentlemen of the country, went over the bridge in his carriage, from which, on returning, the people took the horses, and drew his Lordship to the ferryhouse, amidst the repeated shouts and acclamations of above two thousand people, assembled on an event which promises the greatest advantages to the County of Sussex in particular, and the Kingdom in general, by opening a communication much wanted, between Portsmouth and Dover. This bridge, constructed on piles, is 600 feet long, and 12 feet wide, with two recesses 70 feet long, and 24 feet wide, is composed of 32 arches or openings, and was only began in June 1781, under the direction of Mr Joseph Hodskinson, who has compleated it in ten months, to the satisfaction of the Trustees and the whole country. The causeways leading to the bridge are above half a mile long, and 24 feet wide, and are, for the most part, raised eight feet. They were made by Mr Jones; at Horsham; and meet with great approbotion [sic].

"After the ceremony of opening the bridge, the Earl of Surrey, and the other gentlemen, adiourned to the Star inn, at New Shoreham, where they dined. After dinner the following toasts were drank, with three cheers, and under the discharge of cannon.

The King
The Town of Shoreham
Firmness and Durability to the Bridge
The Duke of Norfolk
The Duke of Richmond
Lord Howe and the Navy of England
Peace with America

"A new Administration, and may virtue and Wisdom prevail in his Majesty's Councils, and enable them to undo all the Late Ministers have done with many other constitutional toasts.

"The day concluded with the utmost festivity and harmony."

 


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Updated 17/12/2006
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