An 18th century view

This view, looking west from where New Steine is today, has only one recognisable feature, the church of St Nicholas on its hill. The house built by Dr Richard Russell in 1753 is amongst those clustered on the cliff edge. Russell advocated the sea water cure, which required his patients to not only bathe in but also to drink sea water.

An influx of fashionable visitors
With the coming of fashionable visitors in the 1770’s and 1780’s (the Prince of Wales paid his first visit in 1783) the town needed to expand beyond the old town confines of North, East and West Streets and houses were erected on the west and south sides of the Steine and to the north of North Street. By 1785 the houses behind the windmill on the east side of the Steine had just been built but there was no housing on the east cliff.

Windmills on the cliffs
Windmills were a feature on the cliffs catching the prevailing wind and forming an important part of the food chain supplying the visitors. As the town expanded new mills were built on the outskirts (or those on the cliffs were moved inland). By 1914 only Waterhall Mill at Patcham was still working. This mill survives as a private house but the windmills at Rottingdean and West Blatchington are open on some summer weekends.

Marine Parade showing St. Nicholas' Church on the hill
From a private collection

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