Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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Chap. II.] A Tour round Old East-Bourne.                   9
My informant fixed the date by the circumstance that it was during the progress of the excavations that the Thames Indiaman was wrecked at the Seaside, and this, as it is well known, happened in 1822. He was called away from his road work to assist at the wreck, which had drifted from the Wish to near the Great Redoubt, and was eventually made fast by a cable attached to tower No. 73, which tower has long since ceased to exist.
The only Archaeological fact which I can connect with Roman traces at Ocklynge is the discovery, some time during the "Sixties," of a small brass Roman coin of Antoninus Pius, which is now in my possession. The incident just related of the finding of skeletons has since been abundantly confirmed from other sources.0
The ridge on which we may be supposed to be still standing was in my younger days always called "Ockland" (generally pronounced 'Auckland"). This has been considered a modern version of "Oakland," not that I ever saw or heard of any oaks growing there; and the soil is, like all the soil of East-Bourne, unfavourable to oaks. One thing I think is certain, that "Ocklynge" is a modern invention, but whence emanating I know not.
When the necessity for providing a cemetery arose, which was when the Churchyard of the Parish Church was closed by an Order in Council, there was great diffi­culty in settling the site of the proposed cemetery. The parish authorities wished to place it somewhere on the slope of the hill to the N. of Mill Gap as a site fairly central and sufficiently out of the way. The Gilbert Trustees objected to give up the land in question, alleging that it was not sufficiently out of the way, having regard to future building probabilities ; and events showed that their arguments were sound. The N. portion of the actual site was purchased as the result of a Vestry vote on November 9, 1855. It was regarded as too far out of the way, but since that day, as is now clearly seen, building operations have spread not only up to but beyond the Cemetery in the direction of Willingdon. Another objection, and a reasonable one, was that the
(c) Suss. Arch. Coll., vol. xli., p. 4, 1898; vol. Hi., p. 189, 1909.
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