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Historic Towns & Picturesque Villages

Pictures of St Leonards

a Seaside Town in the county of East Sussex

About St Leonards

Attractive Sussex seaside resort now joined to Hastings, but initially began as an independent resort laid out by the architect James Burton in 1828. It was centred around a delightful valley which ran down to the fringes of the sea. The valley now makes up what is now the superb St.Leonard's Gardens around which some of James Burtons glorious Victorian buildings survive including the magnificent Royal Victoria Hotel.

This is now a favoured haunt of the sailing fraternity who apart from the lovely coastal waters and close proximity of the old harbour at Hastings, enjoy the many pleasures St.Leonard's has to offer. There are noted buildings to be discovered these include a fascinating Ice house standing in the grounds of a Sports Dome, the dramatic St.Leonard's Archway sited at the entrance to the town's gardens, and the elegant Burton clock house. The Grand Parade was also the work of James Burton. The Highland Inn remains from heady Victorian days, this too was built by Burton and is believed to have initially been a summer residence for Queen Victoria who visited often.

St.Leonard's is an old region with a history stretching back to beyond the Conquest. When the Doomsday Book was written in 1086 a local mill was recorded in it. The site of Baldslow Mill was lit by a beacon when the Spanish Armada sailed up the English Channel in 1588.

The town's church known as Christ Church was built late in the 19th-century to replace an earlier church of 1860. The church of St.Paul was demolished during the last century and Norfolk House now stands in its place.

St.Leonard's offers a quieter alternative to neighbouring Hastings, it is backed by cliffs leading to a hinterland of rural charm. It has shops, inns, restaurants, plenty of interest along its beautiful coastline and some magical places to visit.

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