Eastbourne is a seaside town on the South Coast in East Sussex. Eastbourne is situated at the edge of the South Downs just a short distance from the chalky coastal cliffs of Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters. In addition the elegant seafront hotels, shingle beaches, pier, fort, harbour and Devonshire Park Tennis Centre make the town a popular tourist destination.
Eastbourne is thought of as a relatively new town, becoming popular during Victorian times. However, there is evidence of Stone Age flint mines on the surrounding downs and Roman remains have been found buried beneath the town. During Anglo-Saxon times there was a landing stage and stream at "Burne". The 'Burne' (stream) ran through the Old Town and helped to give the town it's original name.
After the Norman Conquest the area that it now Eastbourne was held by Robert,Count of Mortain, the half brother of King William. At the time the area was known as Bourne, East was added to it in the 13th century. During the Middle Ages the town slowly increased and was visited by King Henry I and Edward II.St Mary's Church in the Old Town was built in the 12th century.
In 1780 four of King George III's children visited the town for a summer holiday. In 1793 a series of Martello towers were built between Pevensey Bay and the Wish Tower along the seafront to defend the bay between Beachy Head and Hastings from attack by the French. Until the 19th century Eastbourne remained an area of small rural settlements with four villages or hamlets occupying the site of the modern town.
By the mid 19th century most of the land was owned by the John Davies-Gilbert and William Cavendish. In 1859 William Cavendish recruited Henry Currey to lay out a plan for an entire new town - a resort. The town grew rapidly and flourished during the following decades to become a popular and fashionable seaside resort. Eastbourne Pier was built between 1866 and 1872 becoming a popular attraction.
|Eastbourne From Beachy Head|
Sovereign Harbour is situated to the east of the town centre and was opened in 1993. The marina consists of four separate harbours, a retail park and housing. The Harbour is a relaxing place to spend a few hours in the restaurants, strolling around the harbours or walking along the beach.