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The Lanes Business Network
From the Doomsday Book to the 21st Century
Having been mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1085 as being worth £12 the area progressed by the early 14th century to be prosperous enough to support a market. In 1554 under the reign of Henry VIII the vicinity was burned but beacon fires on The Downs played an historical part in rescuing the town from complete destruction.
In Tudor times Queen Elizabeth granted land for the erection of sea defences against the Spanish Armada. However attacks at sea and on land were frequent and by 1635 the area was suffering from a depression. At this stage the town was still only contained within a square - The Lanes - as we know it today, with the boundaries being West Street, East Street and North Street with South Street having succumbed to the sea.
In 1753 Dr Richard Russell moved to land on the site of the Royal Albion Hotel and brought his first patients to the town for a sea water cure. The English Sea-Side was popularised by Dr. Russell when the curative powers of sea bathing and sea air were approved by the Prince of Wales.
The recovery of the town in general can be attributed to the arrival of the Prince Regent because in 1761 there were still only six principal streets in the town. By 1787 the first version of the Royal Pavilion had been completed and in 1791 the first Royal Mail coach was established with the journey to London taking 12 hours. In 1823 there was a massive building boom which necessitated large scale improvements to the layout of the main streets.
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