East of the Pier Heritage Trail
Brand New Walking Trail
Discover some of the hidden gems and magnificent architectural features in this fascinating self-guided walking trail, East of the Pier.
With information boards and a downloadable app, this walking trail reveals many of the secrets behind the Victorian and Edwardian period of the town's development and the people who played a part in it.
Let the story unfold as you walk along the short trail and learn more about the economic and social history of this dynamically changing area of the seafront. All wheelchair accessible, a series of history corners provide more in depth information too.
The walk has been created by a group of volunteers as part of a project funded by Eastbourne Borough Council, as a result of the Government Grant allocated after the Pier fire in 2014.
What is this all about?
It is the story of one of Eastbourne’s most interesting areas and the story unfolds as you move around.
The focus is on the Victorian and Edwardian period of the town’s development and the people who played a part in it.
It is an opportunity to learn more about the east end of Eastbourne as a place as well as the area’s economic and social history.
How can I use it?
The map shows the area you can explore. It shows the locations of the on-street story boards which are almost entirely wheelchair accessible.
The walk runs from the Pier, along the promenade and Seaside road, ending at the Redoubt.
Many old photographs and snippets of information can be summoned up as you walk along.
Each has a distinct focus:-
- Royal Hippodrome, Seaside Road. Entertainment.
- Leaf Hall, Seaside. Social and Welfare. (Wheelchair access not available)
- Christ Church, Seaside. The church working in the community.
- Redoubt Pavilion, Royal Parade. Defending the realm.
- Crown and Anchor, Marine Parade. Display of old photographs
As well as information boards, download the free 'Eastbourne Trails' app for access to the Digital Trail and even more information and photographs, plus directions and points of interest along the way.
Available on iPhone, iPad and Android to download for free.
3. Sea Houses Square 4. Marine Gardens
5. Pavilion Gardens 6. Royal Hippodrome Theatre
7. Crown & Anchor 8. Leaf Hall
9. Christ Church 10. Redoubt Fortress
Digital Trail Waypoints
Digital Trail Waypoints
The pier separates the east of the town from the west and this distinction was very apparent in Victorian and Edwardian Eastbourne.
This is Elms Avenue which was constructed around 1900. Prior to that, the site on the side away from the sea was occupied by a fine house built in 1714 called ‘The New Susans’.
Here at the end of the narrow Pier Gardens are some information boards if you wish to know more about the history of early tourism and the historical difference in fortune between the west and east of the town.
This is the junction with Cavendish Place – one of the first streets to be built as part of the Duke of Devonshire’s grand plan for the town. Built in the 1850s, its architectural quality is apparent.
The building in front of you (now a chinese restaurant) is the Manhattan building.
East of the Queens Hotel the row of houses and small hotels was built largely between 1790 and 1840 and constituted Marine Parade.
At the junction of Seaside Road and Susans Road is a three storey cream painted building erected in the 1860s when it was then called Lewes Place.
The Hippodrome is now a community theatre run by a trust. It was built in 1883 and designed by a celebrated architect called C J Phipps.
This eastern corner of Bourne Street saw the opening of the first Russell and Bromley shop in the country in 1880.
The Dale and Kerley’s department store (now TJ Hughes) sold top of the range products, being one of the four premier stores in the town in the 1920s and 1930s.
At the junction of Sea Houses Square and Seaside you see a long cream painted building which is listed.
The Leaf Hall, with its conical clock tower, was built in 1864. William Leaf was a rich silk merchant.
The Marine public house was built in 1806. It was a popular venue with the local garrison. The inside of the premises is full of character.
On the opposite side of Seaside’s junction with St Aubyn’s Road you will see a narrow entrance with a wrought-iron gateway.
As you stand at the junction of Seaside and Firle Road you will notice the military ground opposite.
There is a History Corner in the church that tells more about the building and its historic role in this community.
Take a look at the information boards here to find out more about seaside entertainment and the story of bathing.
In Hanover Road the flat-roofed white buildings were constructed to accommodate the officers and their families of the nearby garrison.
This was only the third church to be built in Eastbourne and the first in the town’s East End. This neighbourhood was very different from the grand and exclusive resort constructed by the Duke of Devonshire.
Eastbourne has been shaped by many movers and shakers over the years, from London silk merchant William Leaf to the Duke of Wellington's great niece Lady Victoria Wellesley and the much adored Daddy King.
Leaf Hall stands as an important monument to Victorian philanthropy and concern for the needy working class of Eastbourne East of the Pier. It is the town’s oldest public building.