Coming from the sunshine coast of Southern England

History on your doorstep

A Brief History of Eastbourne (9.49 Mins) (in sound only)

This brief but very interesting history of the town by local shool teacher, Miss Ash, was recorded by us in the 1960s.

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Mitchelham Priory (8.05 Mins) (in sound only)

In 1973, I walked in the grounds of  Mitchelham Priory and spoke to the curator about the history of this historic building.

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Stone Cross Windmill  (9.43 mins)

Stone Cross Windmill was constructed for Samuel Dallaway in 1875/6 and it was originally known as
Blackness Mill. It is generally considered to be one of the most highly developed tower windmills in this
country. This mill is open to the public every Sunday afternoon 2pm-5pm from Easter to the end of September.

Town Hall Tour (28.03 mins)

In 2007, the Mayor, Cllr. Mary Pooley, together with the Chief Executive, Martin Ray, invited the public
to tour this most historic of Eastbourne’s buildings. The Town Hall was officially opened on October 20th
1886; a day proclaimed as a public holiday for the townsfolk. The streets were decked with bunting and
school children lined the pavements as councillors and dignitaries entered the new building in readiness
for the official celebration. The designer, Mr Foulkes, handed a gold-headed key to the Mayor, Alderman
George Boulton.

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John Stevens (in sound only)

In the 1970's we recorded with local historian, John Stevens, a series of interesting stories about Eastbourne's history. Many of these
were personal memories as John lived in the town all his life and was an important member of the Town Hall staff.

Open Spaces  (7.47 mins)  > Click to Listen

Memories of World War 1  (8.39 mins)  > Click to Listen

Memories of World War 2  (10.16 Mins)  >Click to Listen

Memories - Street Names  (8.14 Mins) > Click to Listen

Railways  (7.20 Mins)  > Click to Listen

Clergy  (5.03 Mins)  < Click to Listen

Clergy 2 (9.21 Mins)  > Click to Listen

Parkland  (7.41 Mins)  > Click to Listen

Hurst Family  (4.42 Mins)  > Click to Listen

Water  (6.22 Mins)  > Click to Listen

Eastbourne Redoubt (28.42 mins) (in Sound Only)

In the 1970's, Assistant Curator, Robert Owen took us on a tour of the Redoubt Fortress.

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The Methodist Church in Eastbourne (48.41 mins) (in Sound Only)

Rev. David Dunn-Wilson looks back at the growth of the Methodist Church in Eastbourne and recalls some interesting character that
where part of that history.  Recorded in 1979.

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Shinewater Park - An Ancient History  (7.18 mins)

Shinewater Park was completed in 2002 within the water meadows that drain the land from as far as
Folkington. During the landscaping of the park the remains of a Bronze Age (800 to 600BC) site was
discovered, on what was once an estuary linking the sea to Hailsham. There were remains of a track
stretching back to the South Downs and a wooden platform with numerous artifacts including a very
rare sickle with its wooden handle still intact, now displayed in the British Museum.

The Beaker Site at Birling Gap  (in Sound Only)

In 1969, Richard Bradley from Southampton University undertook a rescue archaeological dig of the fast eroding cliff edge Beaker
settlement at Birling Gap, near East Dean in East Sussex, England. Until this time the Beaker folk, that had come originally from what
is now Spain, where considered to be nomads, but the results of this dig was to prove far more than that. This is a week by week recording made by  Robert Armstrong, with narration by Barbara Ray.

Part One (1hr 19mins) - In 1968, a Beaker period settlement site was discovered at Birling Gap, on the ground above the cliffs. The Beaker Folk were nomads and rarely had fixed settlements, so this find was of prime importance. During the Summer months we covered the excavation by weekly reports on the progress.

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Part Two - As the archaeological exavation comes to its end, we hear the results of the dig and its importance to future investigations.

St Mary’s Parish Church  (1.48 mins)

The parish church of St Mary was erected on the foundations of a Saxon church dedicated to St

Michael; the present building was erected around the period 1145-1190, and rededicated to St Mary

the Virgin. Its fine Norman tower is a dominant feature of the Old Town. With the constant erosion of

the town’s ancient character, the church now stands flanked on three sides by the old Parsonage, the Lamb Inn 

and by the Pilgrims house in Borough Lane.

St Mary’s Church (44.18 mins) (in Sound Only)

Rev. Canon Cyril Bess, formerly Rural Dean of Eastbourne, takes the listener on a tour of the ancient church reflecting its history and

features. Recorded in 1979.

Willingdon Church (46.51 mins) (in Sound Only)

The Rev. Michael Newman, takes the listener on a tour and speaks of the history of the ancient church at Willingdon. Recorded in 1978.

All Saints Church (11.24 mins) (in Sound Only)

Conducted tour with the Rev. Redoubt of this church in Carlisle Road. Recorded in 1977.

Christchurch (in Sound Only)

Rev Halland takes the listener on a tour and talks about this historic church in Seaside.

St Andrews Church, Blackwater Road (40.57 mins) (in Sound Only)

100 history - recorded in 1978.