Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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

Home | Order | Support | About | Contact | Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

36                   Old Memories of East-Bourne. [Chap. 1IL
much of the Grand Parade sea wall as extends from about the Queen s Hotel to the Sussex Club. And I believe that some stone from it was used in the building of St. John's Church.
In 1873, the War Office decided to disestablish and disendow the Wish Tower, discharging its caretaker and removing its gun; but the Local Board stepped in, in 1874, and eventually acquired the Tower from the Government, after taking a lease from the Duke of Devonshire of such of the adjacent land as was not War Department property. As the result of subsequent negociations, the whole is now town property. The last caretaker was an old artilleryman, who after returning from the Crimea belonged to the " Coast Brigade." His name was Smith, and a son, G. W. Smith, born in the-Tower, is now a tradesman in East-Bourne.
The building all along the sea front from the Grand Parade Westwards, which only began about 1860, or later, might have been started many years previously if the 1st Earl of Burlington had been favourable. I remember being shown once at Compton Place, when Mr. F. J. Howard was residing there, a complete and very comprehensive plan for a new town to be called " Burlington," prepared in 1833 by a London architect of some repute, Decimus Burton. But Lord Burlington would have none of it: no bricks and mortar for him to disturb his privacy : so Burton went to Hastings and exploited the new town of " St. Leonards-on-Sea." The Earl even went so far as to pull down a windmill which stood on the Downs behind Paradise for no other reason I suppose than that it was an eye-sore to him and that he did not care to be overlooked in Compton Place by a miller and his men at a distance of more than -|- a mile in a straight line ! It was close to this mill that I first made the acquaintance of a very useful and distinguished public man, the late Sir Howard Vincent, M.P. He was there on horseback as a Brigadier at an Easter Monday review, I being on duty as Lieutenant of the 1st Sussex Engineers.
Going back now to the Seaside Road, there were no
Previous Contents Next