Sussexhistoric county of southeastern Englandcovering a coastal area along the English Channel south of London. For administrative purposes, Sussex is divided into the administrative counties of East Sussex and West Sussex and the unitary authority of Brighton and Hove.
A ridge of chalk hills, the South Downsruns across the county from east to west, reaching the sea in a line of imposing cliffs, notably at Beachy Head. The northern slopes of the Downs form an abrupt scarp line, where the chalk gives way to the heavy clays and sands of the Weald. To the south the Downs slope more gently toward the English Channel. South of Chichester a fertile coastal plain broadens out into the flat headland of Selsey Bill.
Coastal erosion, especially around Selsey Bill, has produced continual changes in the shoreline. In the southeast of the county, beyond Beachy Head, lie the reclaimed marshes of Pevensey Levels, historically an important point of entry into Britain for early invaders. A further line of cliffs lies along the coast eastward past Hastings.
Paleolithic settlements are represented sussex materials found in raised beaches at Slindon and in river gravels near Pulborough. Primitive agricultural communitiesfrom Neolithic to Roman times, preferred the higher chalk hills. At Whitehawk Hill near Brighton are examples of Neolithic causewayed camps. The Bronze Age is represented by round burial mounds known as bell barrows at various sites near Treyford and Worthingand there are Iron Age hill forts at the Trundle near Goodwood, at Cissbury, and at the Caburn Mount near Lewes.
Timber supplies and iron-ore deposits made possible the development of a prehistoric iron industry. Just before the Roman invasion a dynasty of British chieftains was established in the Selsey area.
The last of these, Cogidubnuswas a useful ally to the Romans and was given a kingdom centred on Chichester. After the Romans left, Saxon invaders landed sussex Selsey and fought their way eastward across Sussex in the late 5th century.
These South Saxons from which the name Sussex is derived founded the kingdom of Sussexwhich was subsequently conquered by the neighbouring kingdom sussex Wessex. In William of Normandy William I the Conqueror landed at Pevensey and fought the decisive battle of Hastings a short distance inland; the town and abbey of Battle commemorate his victory.
The Normans built numerous abbeys and castles, such as Arundel and Pevensey Castle, which was built inside a Roman fort. The chief medieval towns were Chichester, Lewes, and the ports of Hastings and Rye. In the Middle Ages an sussex industry, based on local ore and charcoal, developed in the Weald.
By the end of the 19th century a string of resort towns lined the coast, including Bognor RegisWorthing, Eastbourneand Bexhill. During the 20th century, the construction sussex Gatwick Airport and the spread of suburban development from London accelerated growth in sussex Sussex, centred on Crawley. Article Media. Info Print Cite. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. Sussex historical county, England, United Kingdom. See Article History. Facts Matter.
Subscribe Today. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. Englandpredominant constituent unit of the United Kingdom, occupying more than half of the island of Great Britain. Despite the political, economic,…. East Sussexadministrative and geographic county of southeastern England, bordering the English Channel. The administrative county is divided into the following districts: Eastbourne and Hastings both boroughs sussex, and Lewes, Rother, and Wealden.
In addition to those…. West Sussexadministrative county of southern England, bordering the English Channel. West Sussex lies within the historic county of Sussexexcept for a small area in the north around Gatwick Airport, which belongs to the historic county of Surrey.
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Bachelor no more—when Prince Harry married Meghan Markle last weekend, he gained not just an American wife but also a sussec British title: Duke of Sussex. A lesser-known corner of southeastern England, the sprawling area comprises the dual counties of East and West Sussex and offers an array of delights spanning the sussex green-and-white chalk hills of the Um Downs to the festive seaside pier of Brighton.
With Cowdray Park long home to the Gold Cup for the British Open polo tournament, country town Midhurst is synonymous with sssex game of kings. A newer West Sussex gem, Alexander House Hotel and Utopia Spabrings bucolic fantasies to life with its red stone Jacobean exterior, traditional afternoon tea, lush gardens, sussex expansive nature trails. With an original boundary stone from now anchored in its champagne bar, the bedroom property is a whimsical hodgepodge of the quaint old and the luxurious new, set among parkland acres.
The room hotel offers beachfront views in the airy bedrooms and suites, as well as Art Deco touches in the magnificent lobby and dining areas. Guests from George IV to Charles Dickens have checked in to the susesx Tudor inn—which takes its name from ship timbers used in construction of an earlier incarnation—where jk discovered basement smugglers' tunnels have been reimagined as private dining caves and wine cellars. History geeks and war buffs will marvel at Battle Abbeythe 13th-century Benedictine ruins on the southern coast where the Battle of Hastings took place.
Visitors can watch re-enactments, explore the ruins and Victorian sussex garden, and see the battlefield spot where King Harold fell to William sussex Conqueror in Though parts of the stately castle are nearly years old, including the original crenellated Norman tower, the majority of the present Gothic incarnation was rebuilt during the Victorian era.
This year will mark the 25th anniversary of the Festival of Speed, hosted by dussex Duke of Richmond, who lives on property at the 12,acre Regency suwsex. Many still refer to the area by the singular name Brighton, although it merged with Hove in to sussex a single city. The palace was built up over thirty years, with the King susseex hiring John Nash to redesign it in the Indo-Saracenic-cum-Regency style sussex remains today. Its beachfront proximity is ideal susex a short walk to another local landmark: the Brighton Pier.
Here, artfully plated, locally sourced tasting menus shine in a sleek white marble and gold chrome space done by Sussex interior designer Hana Susex. The chalky soil and climate of the South Downs produces sparkling wines comparable to French offerings, with English bubbles leaping in popularity. A prestigious player is Nyetimber eussex, whose bottles have beat French ones in blind taste tests. The estate in Pulborough opens its doors on select days each summer for tours and tastings.
Restaurant Tristan delivers uncomplicated, field-to-fork British-French cuisine under the original oak beams of a 16th-century cottage in Horsham. An independent craft sussex brewery in the South Downs National Park, Langham Brewery produces steam-powered cask-conditioned ale, with operations based in sussex 18th-century granary barn on the vast Cowdray estate. The ssussex country retreat of artists Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell, Charleston House is now a museum and art gallery set in their rustic 16th-century farmhouse.
The space also includes a shop where visitors can buy handmade items including fabrics sussex prints by Grant and Bell, ceramic pottery and jewelry, and books by and about the celebrated Bloomsbury Group members who frequented the home.
Classic, highly curated women's wear is on display at Little Londonwhile Pushka has a susse selection of quirky and eye-catching speciall-occasion dresses. Dartagnan Menswear provides made-to-measure tailoring, plus a range of popular leisure brands like Canada Goose and 7 for All Mankind.
After the Romans left, Saxon invaders landed near Selsey and fought their way eastward across Sussex in the late 5th century. These South Saxons from which the name Sussex is derived founded the kingdom of Sussex , which was subsequently conquered by the neighbouring kingdom of Wessex. In William of Normandy William I the Conqueror landed at Pevensey and fought the decisive battle of Hastings a short distance inland; the town and abbey of Battle commemorate his victory.
The Normans built numerous abbeys and castles, such as Arundel and Pevensey Castle, which was built inside a Roman fort. The chief medieval towns were Chichester, Lewes, and the ports of Hastings and Rye. In the Middle Ages an iron industry, based on local ore and charcoal, developed in the Weald. By the end of the 19th century a string of resort towns lined the coast, including Bognor Regis , Worthing, Eastbourne , and Bexhill.
During the 20th century, the construction of Gatwick Airport and the spread of suburban development from London accelerated growth in northern Sussex, centred on Crawley.
Article Media. Info Print Cite. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. Sussex historical county, England, United Kingdom. See Article History. Facts Matter. Subscribe Today. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. England , predominant constituent unit of the United Kingdom, occupying more than half of the island of Great Britain.
Despite the political, economic,…. East Sussex , administrative and geographic county of southeastern England, bordering the English Channel.
The administrative county is divided into the following districts: Eastbourne and Hastings both boroughs , and Lewes, Rother, and Wealden. In addition to those…. Guests from George IV to Charles Dickens have checked in to the former Tudor inn—which takes its name from ship timbers used in construction of an earlier incarnation—where recently discovered basement smugglers' tunnels have been reimagined as private dining caves and wine cellars.
History geeks and war buffs will marvel at Battle Abbey , the 13th-century Benedictine ruins on the southern coast where the Battle of Hastings took place. Visitors can watch re-enactments, explore the ruins and Victorian walled garden, and see the battlefield spot where King Harold fell to William the Conqueror in Though parts of the stately castle are nearly years old, including the original crenellated Norman tower, the majority of the present Gothic incarnation was rebuilt during the Victorian era.
This year will mark the 25th anniversary of the Festival of Speed, hosted by the Duke of Richmond, who lives on property at the 12,acre Regency estate. Many still refer to the area by the singular name Brighton, although it merged with Hove in to form a single city.
The palace was built up over thirty years, with the King later hiring John Nash to redesign it in the Indo-Saracenic-cum-Regency style that remains today. Its beachfront proximity is ideal for a short walk to another local landmark: the Brighton Pier. Here, artfully plated, locally sourced tasting menus shine in a sleek white marble and gold chrome space done by Australian interior designer Hana Hakim. The chalky soil and climate of the South Downs produces sparkling wines comparable to French offerings, with English bubbles leaping in popularity.
A prestigious player is Nyetimber , whose bottles have beat French ones in blind taste tests. The estate in Pulborough opens its doors on select days each summer for tours and tastings.
Explore our courses. It's an excellent sussex to meet academics sussex current students to discuss our courses and the experience of studying with us. Explore Sussex and our home city of Brighton in degrees with our Virtual tour experience. You can take a journey through our campus, accommodation and hear from some of our students. University of Sussex student Lucy Hughes has been announced as the winner of this year's international James Dyson Award. Open navigation menu Close navigation menu.
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Search US. The place to. Your future. I want to study…. Virtual tour Explore Sussex and our home city of Brighton in degrees with sussex Virtual sussex experience. Read Sussex story. Discover our home city sussex Brighton. Explore our campus in our virtual tour.
Start tour. Our vision. Learn to transform ensuring that studying at Sussex is sussex life-changing experience for every sussex. Research with impact building an international reputation for research that makes a difference to people's lives. Engage for change forming partnerships and making connections, in pursuit of progressive goals.
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It is bounded to the west by Hampshirenorth by Surreynortheast by Kentsouth by the English Channeland divided for many purposes into the ceremonial counties of West Sussex and East Sussex. Brighton and Hovethough part of East Sussex, was made a unitary authority inand as such, is administered independently of the rest of East Sussex.
Brighton and Hove was granted City status in Until then, Chichester was Sussex's only city. Sussex has three main geographic sub-regions, each oriented approximately east to west. In the southwest is the fertile and densely populated coastal plain. North of this are the rolling chalk hills of the South Downsbeyond which is the well-wooded Sussex Weald.
Aroundit was absorbed into the kingdom of Wessex  and subsequently into the kingdom of England. It was the home of some of Europe's earliest recorded hominidswhose remains have been found at Boxgrove. It was invaded by the Romans and is the site of the Battle of Hastings. Inthe Lord-Lieutenant of Sussex was replaced with one each for East and West Sussex, which became separate ceremonial counties.
Sussex continues to be recognised as a geographical territory and cultural region. It has had a single police force since and its name is in common use in the media. Based on the traditional emblem of Sussex, a blue shield with six gold martletsthe flag of Sussex was recognised by the Flag Institute in InSecretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles formally recognised and acknowledged the continued existence of England's 39 historic counties, including Sussex.
EssexMiddlesex and Wessex. The South Saxons were a Germanic tribe that settled in the region from the North German Plain during the 5th and 6th centuries. The monastic chronicler who wrote up the entry classifying the invasion seems to have got his dates sussex recent scholars have suggested he might have been a quarter of a century too late.
The flag of Sussex consists of six gold martletsor heraldic swallowson a blue background, blazoned as Sussex, six martlets or. Officially recognised by the Flag Institute on 20 Mayits design is based on the heraldic shield of Sussex. The first known recording of this emblem being used to represent the county was in when cartographer John Speed deployed it to represent the Kingdom of the South Saxons. However it seems that Speed was repeating an earlier association between the emblem and the county, rather than being the inventor of the association.
It is now firmly regarded that the county emblem originated and derived from the coat of arms of the 14th-century Knight of the ShireSir John de Radynden. Sussex by the Sea is regarded as the unofficial anthem of Sussex; it was composed by William Ward-Higgs inperhaps originally from the lyrics of Rudyard Kipling 's poem entitled Sussex.
The county day, called Sussex Dayis celebrated on 16 June, the same day as the feast day of St Richard of ChichesterSussex's patron saintwhose shrine at Chichester Cathedral was an important place of pilgrimage in the Middle Ages.
Sussex's motto, We wunt be druvis a Sussex dialect expression meaning "we will not be pushed around" and reflects the traditionally independent nature of Sussex men and women. The round-headed rampionalso known as the "Pride of Sussex", was adopted as Sussex's county flower in The physical geography of Sussex relies heavily on its lying on the southern sussex of the Wealden anticlinethe major features of which are the high lands that cross the county in a west to east direction: the Weald itself and the South Downs.
Natural England has identified the following seven national character areas in Sussex: . At m, Blackdown is the highest point in Sussex, or county top. Ditchling Beacon m is the highest point in East Sussex.
At kilometres 70 miles long, the River Medway is the longest river flowing through Sussex. The longest river entirely in Sussex is the River Arun, which is 60 kilometres 37 miles long. Sussex's largest lakes are man-made reservoirs. The coastal resorts of Sussex and neighbouring Hampshire are the sunniest places in the United Kingdom.
The climate of the coastal districts is strongly influenced by the sea, which, because of its tendency to warm up slower than land, can result in cooler temperatures than inland in the summer. In the autumn months, the coast sometimes has higher temperatures. In winter, the east winds can be as cold as further inland. The sunshine average is approximately 1, hours a year; this is much higher than the UK average of 1, hours a year.
Most of Sussex's population is distributed in an east-west line along the English Channel coast or on the east-west line of the A The exception to this pattern is the 20th century north-south development on the A23 - Brighton line corridorSussex's main link to London. According to the ONS urban area populations for continuous built-up areas, these are the 5 largest conurbations population figures from the census :. In the census this urban area included Reigate and Redhill in Surrey but in the census it did not.
East Grinstead was part of this urban area for the census but it was not for previous censuses. The combined population of Sussex is about 1. The earliest statement as to the population of Sussex is made by Bede, who describes the county as containing in land of 7, families; allowing ten to a family a reasonable estimate at that datethe total population would be 70, In the county is stated to have contained 21, houses. The census found that the population wasThe decline of the Sussex ironworks probably accounts for the small increase of population during several centuries, although after the massacre of St Bartholomew upwards of 1, Huguenots landed at Rye, and sussexafter the revocation of the Edict of Nantesmany more refugees were added to the county.
Finds at Eartham Pit in Boxgrove show that the area has some of the earliest hominid remains sussex Europe, dating back someyears and known as Boxgrove Man or Homo heidelbergensis. At a site near Pulborough called The Beedings, tools have been found that date from around 35, years ago and that are thought to be from either the last Neanderthals in northern Europe or pioneer populations of modern humans.
Later in the Neolithic period, the area of the South Downs above Worthing was sussex of Britain's largest and most important flint -mining centres. Flint tools from Cissbury have been found as far away as the eastern Mediterranean.
Towards the end of the Iron Age in 75BC people from the Atrebatesone of the tribes of the Belgaea mix of Celtic and German stock, started invading and occupying southern Britain. At the time of the Roman conquest in AD43, there was an oppidum in the southern part of their territory, probably in the Selsey region. According to this theory, the Romans were called to restore the refugee Vericaking of the Atrebates, who had been driven out by the Catuvellaunia tribe based around modern Hertfordshire.
Sussex was home to the magnificent Roman Palace at Fishbourneby far the largest Roman residence known north of the Alps. The Romans built villas, especially on the coastal plain and around Chichester, one of the best preserved being that at Bignor. Christianity first came to Sussex at this time, but faded away when the Romans left in the 5th century. The nationally important Patching hoard of Roman coins that was found in is the latest find of Roman coins found in Britainprobably deposited after AD, well after the Roman departure from Britain around AD.
He was probably the most senior of the Anglo-Saxon kings and led the ill-fated campaign against King Arthur at Mount Badon. By the end of the 7th century, the region around Selsey and Chichester had become the political centre of the kingdom.
In the ss, King Aethelwealh of Sussex formed an alliance with the Mercian king Wulfhere and together they took the Isle of Wight from the West Saxons, probably at the battle of Biedanheafele.
The South Saxons fought off the West Saxons in and again in At the end of the 8th century, Ealdwulf was perhaps the last independent king of Sussex, after which Sussex and other southern kingdoms came increasingly under Mercian rule. Mercia's grip was shattered in at the battle of Ellendunafter which Sussex and the other southern kingdoms came under the control of Wessex, which later grew into the kingdom of England. In SeptemberWilliam of Normandy landed with his forces at Pevensey and erected a wooden castle at Hastingsfrom which they raided the surrounding area.
It is likely that all the fighting men of Sussex were at the battle, as the county's thegns were decimated and any that survived had their lands confiscated. Sussex experienced some of the greatest changes of any English county under the Normans, for it was the heartland of King Harold and was potentially vulnerable to further invasion. Castles were built to defend the territories including at Arundel, Bramber, Lewes, Pevensey and Hastings.
The subsequent treaty, known as the Mise of Lewesled to Montfort summoning the first parliament in English history without any prior royal authorisation. A provisional administration was set up, consisting of Montfort, the Bishop of Chichester and the Earl of Gloucester. These three were to elect a council of nine, to govern until a permanent settlement could be reached.
During the Hundred Years' WarSussex found itself on the frontline, convenient both for intended invasions and retaliatory expeditions by licensed French pirates.
Also at this time, Amberley and Bodiam castles were built to defend the upper reaches of navigable rivers. Under Elizabeth Ireligious intolerance continued albeit on a lesser scale, with several people being executed for their Catholic beliefs. Sussex escaped the worst ravages of the English Civil Waralthough in there were sieges at Arundel and Chichester, and a skirmish at Haywards Heath when Royalists marching towards Lewes were intercepted by local Parliamentarians. The Royalists were routed with around killed or taken prisoner.
The Sussex coast was greatly modified by the social movement of sea bathing for health which became fashionable among the wealthy in the second half of the 18th century. Railways spread across Sussex in the 19th century and county councils were created for Sussex's eastern and western divisions in With the declaration of World War IISussex found itself part of the country's frontline with its airfields playing a key role in the Battle of Britain and with its towns being some of the most frequently bombed.
In the post-war era, the New Towns Act designated Crawley as the site of a new town. Boundaries were changed and a large part of the rape of Lewes was transferred from the eastern division into West Sussex, along with Gatwick Airport, which was historically part of the county of Surrey. After the union with Scotland two members represented the county in the House of Commons of Great Britain from to and of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom from to After the Reform Act some of the larger industrial towns of northern England were enfranchised for the first time and smaller English boroughs known as Rotten Boroughs were disenfranchised, including Bramber, East Grinstead, Sussex, Steyning and Winchelsea in Sussex.
There is also a third-tier Crown Court at Chichester. A rape was a traditional sub-division of the county of Sussex. Their origin is unknown, but they appear to predate the Norman Conquest. The rape of Bramber was created later in the 11th century and the rape of Chichester was created in the 13th century. Sussex sussex divided into two administrative counties and one unitary authority, Brighton and Hove. The divisions of east Sussex and west Sussex have their roots in the church's division of the county at the river Adur into east and west parts divided from at least the 11th century into the archdeaconry of Chichester and the archdeaconry of Lewes.
With Sussex's cathedral located at Chichester in the far west of the county, 9 miles from the western boundary and 90 miles from the eastern boundary, it became practical to divide the county into two sections. The three eastern rapes of Sussex became east Sussex and the three western rapes became west Sussex. An act of Henry VII dating from directed that, for convenience, the two halves of the county should have separate administrations Quarter Sessions.
This situation was recognised by the County of Sussex Act Under the Local Government Actthe two divisions became two administrative counties along with three county boroughs : Brighton, Hastings and, fromEastbourne. Much of the Sussex Weald consists of wet sticky clays or drought-prone acid sands and is often broken up into small irregular fields and woods by the topography, making sussex unsuitable for intensive arable farming.
In these areas pastoral or mixed farming has always been the pattern, with field boundaries often little changed since the medieval period. Sussex sussex are the descendants of the draught oxen, which continued to be used in the Weald longer than in other parts of England.
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