Economy of Brighton

The mainstay of Brighton's economy for its first 700 years was fishing. Open land called the Hempshares (the site of the present Lanes) provided hemp for ropes; sails were made from flax grown in Hove; nets were dried and boats were kept on the open land which became Old Steine; and fishermen lived and worked on the foreshore below the East Cliff, in an area known as Lower Town. Herring and mackerel were sometimes used in ecclesiastical and manorial transactions, a tradition which ended in the 19th century. As Brighton grew, many fishermen moved to the Carlton Hill area and used its many warehouses and workshops to