Pier Road was once called Mussel Row. In 1829/30 a certain John Peckham Henly built a row of thirteen cottages alongside the river, just above the Oyster Pond. Known at first as Henly’s Buildings they were intended for the use of local watermen, and members of the oyster fleet, who stored their catch in the oysterpond and moored their boats close by. Since however these chaps were pretty tough and muscular, the row quickly became known more familiarly as 'Muscle Row', and it is by this name that the cottages are often identified on early Victorian plans and maps. Towards the end of the century, after the oystermen had gone, their oyster beds exhausted, the name took on a genteel twist and became 'Mussel Row'.
The (current) cottages were rebuilt in 1929 on the old foundations…..what is interesting about these places, both the old and the new, is that they are deeper at the back than at the front, since they were built on the landward slope of the embankment raised to cut off the old river estuary and to turn the stream to its present outlet, a completely artificial cut made in the 1830s.
*This information was taken from ‘Littlehampton Then and Now’ by H. J. F. Thompson