Looking west c1855

By John Hills

If you had been standing about midway down Railway Road looking over the east quay towards the west, this is the view you might have seen back in the mid 1850's. At this time the town would have had a population of around 1,500.

Clearly visible is St Michaels Church and old Union Workhouse on top of the hill.

Also in this etching of Newhaven you can see the railway had arrived a few years earlier in the December of 1847. The trains then terminated at the only station at that time Newhaven Wharf (out of picture to the left) which served the south end of the harbour on East Quay and the reintroduced ferry services to the continent.

In the centre of the picture we can see the Congregational Chapel with Meeching House to it's right, which may have been the Manor House of the old village, with The Bridge Hotel and Brewery buildings towards right-hand side of the picture.

At this time Denton Island had not been formed, the cut to form the North Quay was made in the mid 1860's, so the people who lived in that area would have walked to St Leonards Church in Denton of a Sunday to worship, hence how it got it's name Denton Island.

Photo:Looking from the east c 1855

Looking from the east c 1855

From an old picture postcard.

This page was added by John Hills on 26/02/2020.
Comments about this page

So referring to Google Maps, I think I'm correct in saying the treeline running from the church to the town would be where Meeching Rise is now, the white faced terraced buildings foreground would be on the line of South Road or maybe Chapel Street. The Chapel (the sea cadet building) is visible and far left through the rigging of the sailing ship is potentially Meeching Court Farm located at the intersection of Chapel Street, South and Fort Road. I think.

Thanks for the feedback Rob its much appreciated. Yes the tree line would have been close to the line of Meeching Rise (part of one system today). Yes spot on the row of white buildings were in Prospect Place (South Road today) with houses in Meeching Road beyond them. The Baptist Church (home of Sea Cadets) just right of centre, was in Eastern Terrace at this time which later became Chapel Street. 

Possibly the dark building in the foreground left of centre may have been old Sheet Loft, if so Manor Court Farm and Manor House would have been to the left of that, as you rightly say it could be buildings through the rigging of the ships far left of picture.

John -- Editor

ps. Thought you might like to know Martins parrot still going strong in his late 50's !!

By Rob Patten
On 28/02/2020

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.