Sussex, county, SE England, since 1888 divided for administrative purposes into East Sussex (1991 pop. 670,600), 693 sq mi (1,795 sq km), and West Sussex (1991 pop. 692,800), 768 sq mi (1,990 sq km). Lewes is the county seat of East Sussex; Chichester is the administrative center for West Sussex. The South Downs—low, rolling hills that cross the county from east to west and terminate at Beachy Head on the English Channel coast—are the county's most notable geographical feature. The principal streams are the Arun, the Ouse, the Rother, and the Adur. The long coast line along the Channel is famous for its resorts, such as Brighton and Eastbourne. Sussex is primarily an agricultural region devoted to dairy farming, wheat growing, and market gardening. It has many residential suburbs of London. The old kingdom of the South Saxons (Sussex) was founded by King Ælle in the late 5th cent. Later the region was incorporated into Wessex. William I (William the Conqueror) landed at Pevensey in 1066 and defeated Harold's Saxons at Hastings. In 1974, East Sussex and West Sussex were reorganized as nonmetropolitan counties.
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