Worthing Museum & Art Gallery

Social History

 The Pier 

Local History Archive

Worthing has a long and fascinating history with far more excitement that many outsiders expect. Worthing was not only where Oscar Wilde wrote 'The Importance of Being Earnest', it was also the site of major riots provoked by the Salvation Army in the 1880s, a lively seaside resort since the 1790s, a centre for smuggling in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and has the only pier in the country to have been ' blown down, burnt down and blown up'. In spite of this the elegant pier is still standing! Exciting events in Worthing's history as well as its steady development over the past 250 years and the day to day life of its people are illustrated by our enormous collections of local material including photographs and ephemera as well as three-dimensional objects like the urn presented to a local landowner for the help he gave to smugglers in foiling the work of the Excise Men. Worthing's history is full of little quirky stories and eccentric characters and amply repays exploration.

Researching the War Memorial 

Worthing Museum and Art Gallery is the repository for documents relating the lives of Worthing residents during both wars including records of the names of civilians and service personnel who died as a result of enemy action. See the War memorial page for more details.