Talk reveals research into ancient river ports

The entrance to Shoreham Harbour W37069H7
The entrance to Shoreham Harbour W37069H7

EVERYONE knows where Shoreham Port is now, but where did the old river ports used to be?

Results of detailed research will be revealed in a talk at the Marlipins Museum in Shoreham, entitled The Ancient Harbours of the River Adur.

Paul Baker, Hamish Freeman, Prof Jeff Leigh and Sue Walker will use pictures to help illustrate where ships of old sailed to and fro up the Adur.

Mr Leigh said: “The Sussex coastline has changed dramatically over the last 2,000 years and one port noted in historical records, Pende, has completely disappeared, apparently without trace.

“The aim of our research has been to discover how the coastline has changed and where all these river ports might actually have been sited.”

Liza McKinney, from Friends of Marlipins Museum, said it was a fascinating subject.

“Research has been carried out in an attempt to identify the site of the port of Old Shoreham, which was the predecessor of the port of New Shoreham which we recognise today.

“Old Shoreham was already a port when the Normans arrived, but as the team researched, they realised there were also ports on the Adur used by maritime traffic at Steyning, Bramber and at various other places such as Botolphs. There is no consensus as to where these were actually situated.”

The talk will be on Friday, March 6, at 12.30pm in the exhibition room at the museum, in Middle Street. Entrance is £3 for non-members, £2 for Friends.