Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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Chap. XIIL]            All Souls' Church.                          185
nearly than " about 1875," she notified to Mr. Pierpoint, as the Incumbent of Trinity Church, her desire to build a Church as a memorial to two old aunts, the Misses Tilney-Long. Unfortunately or fortunately (I suppose it may be looked at either way) these ladies were not dead, and as it turned out they lived an inconveniently long time, I mean " inconvenient " from an East-Bourne point of view. Meanwhile East-Bourne was growing rapidly ; more Church accommodation was an increasingly-urgent want, and Mr. Pierpoint felt the necessity of other Church-building operations being put in hand. Eventually, however, Lady Victoria's wishes could be fulfilled, and the foundation-stone of the Church now known as " All Souls' Church " was laid on June 14, 1881. Lady Victoria Wellesley invited a party to luncheon on the occasion, and one of the guests to whom she introduced me was a man who has since come to the front rank of statesmen—her cousin, Mr. Walter Long, M.P.
It is the foundations that I alluded to when I said there was a feature in the history of this Church of special interest to architects and builders. The actual site of the Church, and all the land around it, had been quite within memory a mere marsh which had been drained no more than I suppose a century previously, and then by no means very effectually. In other words the enormous weight of masonry of a complete Church, with a high tower, was going to be placed on a morass. The foundations therefore had to be of an unusually elaborate and expensive character. I possess no figures to support this statement, but Plate XXXVI. is evidence of it. I was present at the laying of the foundation-stone, and the official party assembled for the purpose had to take their stations on a wooden staging from which they could see the footings down below at a depth of, I should say, nearly 20ft. However, the work, including the whole Church, was executed regardless of expense, and I have never heard of any suspicion of settlement. The cost of the whole undertaking, including the Vicarage, the Schools, and the Parish Room, was never made public, but I believe it did not fall much short of £40,000. The
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