Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

An Account of, notable events, Persons and town history - online book

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Chap. III.] A Tour through Central East-Bourne. 33
local solicitor. Amongst other residents whose names I remember were Dr. Jeffery, the Rev. G. Stokes, Mr. Drury, Miss Mortimer and, at a much later date, Lady V. Wellesley, Mr. J. H. C. Coles, Mr. Pitman, and Mr. Crake, now Vicar of Jevington.
I do not know that it is worth while to say much about footpaths and narrow occupation roads now either discarded or swallowed up in modern roads, but from a point just opposite No. 8 The Terrace, the roadway, now a mere back road for the convenience of the houses at the back of Cornfield Terrace, once marked the line of the " Shomer Dyke," a drain draining the South Street houses and having its outlet near the Wish. Eventually the dyke (ditch) was filled in and the narrow road formed which still exists robbed of its Mid-Victorian name of " Shomerdyke Road." Previously to this The Wish was reached by a narrow road starting from South Street and following nearly or quite the line of what is now College Road. Here a branch to the E. led to the sea-shore near the Wish Tower, and a branch to the W. past some farm buildings known as " Hollands Barn " to " Prentice Street " and up to Meads. Prentice Street was a small group of houses, the central figure of which may be said to be Miss Little's house, St. Winifred's, but that house and grounds passed through several stages of developement before it blossomed into St. Winifred's. In 1837 it was Southfield Lodge, the freehold property of Mr. Samuel Dobree, a London lawyer, great in making fireworks. Dr. Hall and Mr. F. Brodie were alumni of his in that art. From him it passed by purchase to Sir W. Domville, Bt., who lived there and died there about 1858. His son Sir J. Gr. Domville sold it to the Duke of Devonshire who let it to Mr. John Swift as tenant. Mr. Swift simplified the name to one word Southfields, lived there and died there in 1888. The property was then devastated : the long avenue drive from the Meads main road was cut through by the formation of Fairfield Road and the " Upper " Meads Road, and the house materially altered and enlarged to adopt it for scholastic purposes. Traces of
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