Architects Architecture Developers

Burlington Hotel + Eastbourne East Sussex

The Golden Fringe of the South Downs

Burlington Hotel Eastbourne East Sussex © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Long before Milton Keynes, there was Eastbourne. “Planned new towns” may possess more than a lingering whiff of the late 20th century but over 100 years before that, four hamlets – Bourne, South Bourne, Meads and Sea Houses – were engulfed by the major landowner 7th Duke of Devonshire’s masterplan. Drawn up by His Grace’s architect Henry Currey in 1859, this blueprint for a seaside resort would develop over half a century. Earlier Italianate stuccoed terraces contrast with later red brick Edwardian buildings. A new railway branch line from London to the south coast acted as a catalyst for the development. Promenades and esplanades and parades and a pier portray coastal town planning at its finest. While the Duke of Devonshire was the main promoter of the resort in the 19th century, a second landowner Carew Davies Gilbert built an eponymous housing estate inland to the north of the railway station. The 1880s Queen’s Hotel on Marine Parade, still splendid despite losing its original verandahs wrapping around each floor, is Henry Currey’s largest building in the town. The hotel furniture was supplied by Maples of Tottenham Court Road, London: walnut on the first and second floors; pine on the third; and oak on the top two floors. A hot food dining room and a cold food dining room were in the basement. The double entry Grade II* Listing of the earlier Burlington Hotel and Claremont Hotel on Grand Parade affirms, “This is the best series of buildings in Eastbourne.” Dating from the mid 19th century, the seafront stuccoed terrace now hotels, with its giant Ionic columns framing the first and second floors of the central nine bays, is a very late flowering of the Regency style.

Queen's Hotel Eastbourne East Sussex © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Esplanade Eastbourne East Sussex © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Yacht Club Eastbourne East Sussex © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Pier Eastbourne East Sussex © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Pier Structure Eastbourne East Sussex © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Boats Eastbourne East Sussex © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

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Robert O’Byrne + Thomas Heneage Art Books London

A Knight in London 

Robert O'Byrne ©

A life in sound bites and superlatives; there’s no hiatus in the hyperbole. Friday evening. Thomas Heneage Art Books is back to back with aristos and aficionados. It’s the launch of Robert O’Byrne’s brilliant biography of Desmond Fitzgerald, the late last Knight of Glin aka the Black Knight. We’re on Duke Street St James (even the road has a double-barrelled name). Names, names, Madam Olda Fitzgerald and her daughters, son-in-law Dominic West, Min Hogg, Johnny Lowry-Corry 8th Earl Belmore, James Peill, Lindy Marchioness of Dufferin and Ava and more Guinnesses than last orders at the bar from Desmond downwards. My Goodness! My Guinness!

Irish Georgian Society Robert O'Byrne book launch ©

John O’Connell: “Easton Neston today; Chatsworth tomorrow.”

Robert O’Byrne: “You must do Curraghmore.”

Susan Crewe: “We’re really quite eclectic at House and Garden.”

William Laffan: “I seem to remember a lively lunch at St Pancras Hotel.”

Desmond Guinness: “Is Maurice Craig’s book Classic Irish Houses of the Middle Size or Middle Class?”

Hugo Vickers: “I’m on a break between biographies.”

Madam Olda Fitzgerald ©