was King Offa
Bexhill and East Sussex
History of Bexhill on Sea.
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Education in Bexhill or for
Photographs of Bexhill.
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Bexhill-on-Sea is a medium
sized sea-side town with a population of 40,000. It is in East Sussex, on the
south coast of England between the towns of Eastbourne and Hastings.
Bexhill did not really start to grow until the building of a sea wall in 1882,
there were probably people living here back in the Bronze Age. Bronze Age instruments
have been discovered in Normans Bay, not far from Bexhill and the hill on which
Bexhill Old Town stands would have provided a useful vantage point.
St Peter’s Church, a manor and farm were built on
this hill, on land
given to Bishop Oswald by King Offa in 772AD after
the king defeated the "Men of Hastings" in 771
During the Norman Conquest, in 1066, the manor fell into disrepair and was given
to a Norman; Robert, Count of Eu. It was returned to the Bishops of Chichester in 1148.
They built a new manor house in 1250. The manor remained in church hands until
1561 when Queen Elizabeth I acquired it. In 1564 she gave it to Sir Thomas
Sackville, Earl of Dorset. The manor remained in the Sackville family until
1865, when it passed to the 5th Earl De La Warr who had married Elizabeth
Sackville in 1813. The De La Warr
family were, in years to follow, responsible for much of the growth and
innovation in the town and connections with the family remain to this day.
The Manor was later bought by the Harmsworth family (founder of the Daily Mail)
and finally sold to the town in 1963, and in poor condition, was demolished
in 1968. Today the only remains are the barn, gardens and some small bits
of the original walls.
of the greatest impacts on the town, then a hamlet of about 500 people, must
have been the arrival of 5,000 Hanoverian troops of
the King's German Legion, when from 1804 until 1814 Bexhill was to be their
base. Also at this time, Martello towers were built along the coast,
to protect England from any invasion mounted by Napoleon.
1882 the seventh Earl De La Warr, had a seawall built to protect the low-lying
marsh lands and eastern sector of the town, he also laid out De La Warr Parade
which runs along the seafront and built a luxury hotel, The Sackville. From then
on the town started to
the Edwardian period Bexhill became the playground of the aristocracy and in
1901 was one of the first resorts to allow mixed bathing!
Whit Monday, 1902, saw the first motor race take place in Britain, staged here
on Bexhill's seafront.
Bexhill's most important building is
De La Warr Pavilion,
world famous for it's “modernist” architecture. The 9th Earl De La
Warr, then mayor of Bexhill held a competition to design an
entertainment centre to lure
visitors to the town. The rules stipulated that the building must contain a
concert hall, restaurant and
conference rooms; the cost to be no more than £80,000.
The winning design was by
Eric Mendelsohn and Serge Chermayeff, Their design was to be the first large
building constructed with a welded steel frame. The Pavilion was built during
1934/35 on the site of the old Coastguard cottages, and was officially opened on 12th December 1935. The opening ceremony
was performed by The Duke and Duchess of York, (the Duke later became King
The De La Warr Pavilion was re-opened in October 2005 after an £8 million
restoration and refurbishment project. It is hoped that it will become the
principal centre for contemporary art, architecture, education and entertainment
on the south coast.
Bexhill is very well supplied with leisure facilities, catering for
all tastes. We have a modern Leisure Centre with climbing walls, badminton
courts, general sports hall, fitness gym and bar. Egerton Park provides tennis
courts, a boating lake, children's playground, putting green, and indoor and
outdoor bowls clubs. Golfers are provided for by two golf clubs, Highwoods and
Cooden Beach. Those interested in water sports will find active rowing and
sailing clubs, both also providing places to meet socially and windsurfers and
kite surfers are a frequent sight along the beach at Herbrand Walk. There is
also a Tennis and Badminton club at Cooden and an all weather
football/basketball pitch at Bexhill College, were the Bexhill Giants Basketball
Club meet. A swimming pool and bowling alley are available at the Ravenside
Retail Park which is on the eastern border of the town. McDonalds and KFC
restaurants are also available here.
The De La Warr Pavillion has two exhibition galleries, a theatre, restaurant and
cafe/bar. There are also sun terraces and balconies looking out over the sea.
The De La Warr are active in promoting activities, from art to skateboarding,
for young people
Skateboarders are also provided for by a well equipped set of ramps behind the
Leisure Centre and on Galley Hill.
Bexhill is home to many small groups and clubs providing for all interests
ranging from line dancing and belly dancing to African drumming and swimming.
Shoppers are well catered for in Bexhill, the main shops being found on Western,
Sackville, Devonshire and St Leonard's Roads. These shops consist mainly of
small and interesting independent shops, of the larger stores, Iceland,
Boots and W H Smiths are situated in
Devonshire Road and Sainsbury's have a store just north of the railway line in
Town Hall Square.
Ravenside Retail Park provides a Tesco's, B&Q, Curry's, PC World, Comet,
Halfords, Next, Wickes, Boots and Pets at Home stores.
Bexhill has several Junior schools, King Offa, Chantry, St Peter and St Paul's,
All Saints, Sidley, Mary Magdelene's, Pebsham and Little Common. Secondary
education is provided by Bexhill High School, due to move to a new building in
September 2010, and St Richards Catholic College
while the recently re-sited Bexhill College provides excellent further education
Click on the Thumbnails to see a large copy of these photographs.
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|The De La Warr Pavilion, seen from the promenade.
|The De La Warr Pavilion, looking West, over some of the
|The seafront, looking East, the memorial marks the start
line of the 1902 seafront motor races.
|The Sailing Club, preparing the boats.
|The seafront looking West, towards
Eastbourne with Beachy Head in the distance.
|The Town Hall
opened in 1895 by the Lord Mayor of London
|The original part of the Station
Road Youth Centre, built in 1887 as a reading room to mark Queen Victoria's
[ About Bexhill ]