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The history of the area now covered by Brighton and Hove spans nearly 1000 years, although the city has only existed in its present form since 2000.The small settlement of Bristelmestune, mentioned in the Domesday Book, developed into a locally important fishing village, and was saved from its 18th-century decline by the patronage of the Prince Regent and British high society.Despite other alterations, especially since Hangleton developed as a 1950s housing estate, the church retains much of its medieval character.Arthur Wagner built this church in 1875 using £3,000 set aside by his father for that purpose.West Blatchington, a village on the South Downs east of Hangleton, was absorbed into the erstwhile Borough of Hove in 1928.Its medieval parish church fell into disrepair by the 17th century but was restored in the 1890s and extended in the 1960s by John Leopold Denman following substantial population growth in the area.A building committee, set up by Henry Michell Wagner before his death, allowed Arthur Wagner and his half-brothers to choose the site themselves.Brighton's parish church between 18 was designed by Charles Barry in the Gothic Revival style and built between 18 at a prominent location described at the time as "the entrance to the town".
More than 40 former religious buildings, although still in existence, are no longer used for their original purpose.
Its centrepiece is the 12th-century church, built of flint with a tower and "Sussex Cap" spire.
It may have been damaged by the same French raiders who desecrated St Margaret's Church.
During the 20th century, both boroughs expanded by absorbing surrounding villages such as Patcham, Hangleton, West Blatchington and Ovingdean, each of which had an ancient church at their centre.
New housing estates such as Mile Oak, Moulsecoomb and Saltdean were built on land acquired by the boroughs.
It became so popular that it had to be extended in 1881 (with difficulty on the narrow site surrounded by houses).