Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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34                   Old Memories of East-Bourne. [Chap. III.
the avenue by reason of many of the trees remaining may still be detected.óBut this is a long digression from South Street.
Larkfield House now forms part of East-Bourne College, but when I first remember it it was occupied by Mr. C. W. Rawdon, a retired naval officer, who I believe built the house. It had one notable feature in a round tower somewhat in the style of the Irish round towers, and used as a lounge, and especially for the purpose of obtaining a wide sea-view. I perfectly well remember his taking me up the Tower when I was a very small boy, and he termed it the " Monkey Tower," but I suspect that that was a designation invented for the occasion either to amuse or frighten me. Rawdon was regarded as a pleasant and agreeable gentleman: he was given to that occupation which a century ago was considered especially the mark of a " gentleman," namely a willingness to drink too many bottles of wine in a week. Mrs. Rawdon was a sister of the Miss West already mentioned under Grove Road. I always thought it a great pity that when the East-Bourne College authorities purchased Larkfield House they should have pulled down this Tower. Granted that it would have been of no particular use to them, yet it served to distinguish the house as being something out of the common, so that when the Tower disappeared the house presented a very commonplace aspect to passers-by. Modern enlargements however have done a good deal to remove this defect. East-Bourne College was opened in 1867, the first Head-master being the Rev. J. R. Wood. He was a man of dignified presence and high personal character, but unfortunately (for him) was a Conservative in politics ; and this made his position very uncom≠fortable, having regard to the then contrary trend of local politics. Eventually he left and set up a school for himself on the Grand Parade, which after some years he handed over to the Rev. R. V. F. Davies, going himself into Suffolk to become the Head-master of the Woodbridge Grammar School. The College Chapel was consecrated by the Bishop of Chichester on June 20, 1874.
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