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History

A chronological history of Eastbourne

1690  On 30th June the English and Dutch navies were unsuccessful as they fought the French off Beachy Head

1724 Bourne Place was bought by Hon. Spencer Compton which later became known as Compton Place

1747  The prize ship ‘Nympha Americana’ was wrecked off Beachy Head

1780  George III’s children stayed at the Round House

1787  This year saw the first published guide for Eastbourne

1792  300 immigrants landed at Eastbourne from France

1795  Circulating libraries and billiard rooms opened up at Sea Houses

1804  Work started on the building of Martello Towers

1806  Work on the Redoubt began

1814  Old Town saw the opening of St Mary’s schools

1816  William Figg had his map of Eastbourne published

1822  Lifeboat and coastguard services were set up

1834  The Belle Tout lighthouse at Beachy Head became operational

1839  Holy Trinity Chapel opened

1849  The railway line between Polegate and Eastbourne opened

1851  Eastbourne Gas Company was formed

1853  The Dalhousie became wrecked off Beachy Head

1856  First publication of the Eastbourne Chronicle

1858  Succession of the 2nd Earl of Burlington to the Dukedom of Devonshire
Local Board set up

1859  Seaside had the Christ Church opened
The Waterworks Company formed
The first publication of ‘Eastbourne Gazette’

1863  In Devonshire Place the Eastbourne Providential Dispensary opened

1864  In Seaside the Workmen’s Hall was constructed by William Leaf

1866  The railway station was moved to a different location

1867  Eastbourne College was founded
This year saw the consecration of St saviour’s Church in South Street

1869  All Saints’ Convalescent Home opened in The Meads area of Eastbourne

1871  First publication of Eastbourne’s Directory by Gowland

1872  The construction of the Pier was finally finished

1873  The Cavendish Hotel was opened

1874  Devonshire Park opened

1875  The Royal Sovereign lightship was established

1878  Opened up this year was the St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church which had been designed by F.J. Barker

1881  The first South of England Grass Court Tennis Championships was held in Devonshire Park
The Electric Light Company for Eastbourne was formed

1882  Completion of the Sea Wall and Royal Parade

1883  Borough of Eastbourne was incorporated
Princess Alice Memorial Hospital was opened
In Seaside the Theatre Royal and Opera House opened

1885  The Baptist Church in Ceylon Place opened
Town Hall opened

1886  Saffrons Cricket and Football Ground opened

1887 Golf course opened

1888  What is now known as Hampden Park railway station opened up

1891  Eastbourne Police Force set up
7th Duke of Devonshire died

1892  Committee selected by the Borough to consider possibility of a harbour at Langney Point

1895  Friedrich Engels’ ashes buried at sea off Beachy Head

1898  Lifeboat house built in memory of William Terriss

1901  Hampden Park opened

1902  New lighthouse at Beachy Head in use

1903  Novelist Edna Lyall died

1904  Name change of the Theatre Royal in Seaside to Royal Hippodrome
Library and museum opened

1906  Cinema opened in seaside

1908 8th Duke of Devonshire died at Cannes

1911  Hampden Park became part of Eastbourne and the town became a County Borough
St Michael’s in Upperton Road finally opened after taking 11 years to build

1912  The sinking of The Ocean (a P&O liner) when it struck the barque Pisagua
New church of St Andrew’s Norway built

1921  First publication of Eastbourne Herald

1923  Marquess of Hartington opened the Towner Art Gallery

1926  Chatsworth Estates Company set up

1927  All Saints’ Church in Carlisle Road burnt down

1930  St Mary’s Hospital opened

1935  King George V and Queen Mary stayed at Compton Place

1937  RNLI museum opened at Grand Parade

1938  9th Duke of Devonshire died
New police HQ opened in Grove Road
On Victoria Drive the St Elizabeth’s was consecrated

1940  SS Barnhill bombed off Beachy Head
Eastbourne was evacuated due to the threat of German invasion
Willingdon House burned down

1944  St Elizabeth’s Church damaged by flying bomb

1948  Freedom of the Borough given to Winston Churchill

1949  Princess Margaret stayed over at Compton Place
The Beryl Tollemache lifeboat was launched
Eastbourne College of Further Education founded

1950  10th Duke of Devonshire died at Compton Place

1957  Willingdon County Secondary School opened by Lord Hailsham

1960  Redoubt considered to be scheduled as an ancient monument

1961  Eastbourne Civic Society founded this year

1962  The Borough bought the Royal Hippodrome

1963  The opening of the Congress Theatre at Devonshire Park

1965  New library opened
Eastbourne Civic Society bought the Windmill at Polegate

1966  South Cliff Tower, Meads completed

1967  The windmill reopened in working order

1968  Trust Houses Ltd bought the pier for £170,000

1970  Fire leaves the Pier theatre badly damaged

1971  The Danish firm Christiani & Nielsen complete the building of the Royal Sovereign light tower at cost of almost two million pounds

1974  Jack Jones lays the foundation stone at the TGWU building

1975  Parliament defeat the proposal for a new harbour and development scheme at Langney
Redoubt restoration begins

1976  First phase of new District Hospital opened

1981  Duke of Devonshire opens the Arndale Centre in the town centre
Fire damaged Eastbourne College Big School

1985  Civic Society opens Eastbourne Heritage Centre

1988  Modified Eastbourne Harbour Bill approved

1990  MGM Multiplex Cinema opens at The Crumbles Centre
The Tourist Board vote Eastbourne as a ‘Top Resort’
David F Bellotte member of the Liberal Democrats wins the by-election

1993  Crumbles Sovereign Harbour opened

1994  25 miles south-west of the Royal Sovereign the Greenwich light vessel automatic station is established

2014 Fire badly damages the pier

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