Visiting Ocklynge Manor, Eastbourne, East Sussex, England: replete with historical associations
For your visit, this item may be of interest
The ever-present past
Ocklynge Manor, Eastbourne, East Sussex, England, is a somewhat — on the surface — unpretentious-looking building; but has many interesting historical associations.
The Manor is built on the site of a Commandery of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, believed to date from the 11th century, some years prior to the Norman Conquest (1). The Knights were associated with the Crusades and the establishment here was one of 95 such sites in England, evidence of the influence of the Knights in England in Medieval times. Records show that the Crusader Godefroid de Bouillon stayed at Ocklynge (an archaic word meaning 'oak line'), before Godefroid travelled to Jerusalem (2).
At the Reformation, the many religious houses in England were dissolved. The property was maintained in some shape or form under the Crown in the 16th and 17th centuries, until it passed to the Hurst family.
The illustrator Mabel Lucie Attwell (1879-1964) lived for many years at Ocklynge Manor; known for her artwork which appeared in many edition's of J M Barrie's 'Peter Pan', Charles Kingsley's 'The Water Babies', and other well known children's works, her illustrations were still being re-issued for years after her passing. An historical plaque commemorating Mabel Lucie Attwell, sponsored by Eastbourne Civic Society and Eastbourne Borough Council, is affixed to the outer wall of Ocklynge Manor.
The extensive garden of Ocklynge Manor contain some examples of very old oak and ash trees. At one stage there were no less than three chapels situated on the perimeter of the garden.
Interestingly also, at Ocklynge Cemetery almost adjacent to Ocklynge Manor, is the burial site of Susan Agnes Macdonald, 1st Baroness Macdonald of Earnscliffe, née Bernard (1836-1920), who was associated with many philanthropic causes; she is often remembered as the second wife of Prime Minister of Canada Sir John A. Macdonald (1815-1891).
Today Ocklynge Manor functions as fine Bed and Breakfast accommodation. (Readers wishing for information about the services of this B. & B. business should direct their enquiries to its management.)
March 14, 2016
(1) See also: http://www.ocklyngemanor.co.uk/history_19.html
Sussex, being the historic county where William of Normandy landed in 1066, is particularly rich in associations with the early years of the Norman Conquest; indeed, Battle (near Hastings), the site of the famous Battle of Hastings, is 29 kilometres to the north-east of Eastbourne.
(2) While I personally struggle to grasp the whole idea of the Crusades, the connection with Godefroid de Bouillon is interesting — I have visited the castle in Bouillon, Belgium, with which he was associated, and a statue of Godefroid stands at the Place Royale / Koningsplein in Brussels. I am not sure whether, given Godefroid's title of King of Jerusalem, Ocklynge Manor would count in some shape or form as a — temporary — royal residence.
Also worth seeing
In Eastbourne itself, notable sights include: Beachy Head and lighthouse, which lie within the town's limits; the Pier, the Promenade, the Martello Wish Tower, and the Redoubt Fortress attract many summer visitors; the Town Hall is architecturally distinguished; Sovereign Harbour is reputed to be Europe's largest marina; there are many fine examples of ecclesiastical architecture (the links, below, have also been chosen to demonstrate something of this).
At Pevensey (distance: 6.6 kilometres), the castle is partly Roman and partly Norman in origin.
How to get there: United Airlines flies from New York - Newark to London Heathrow Airport, where car rental is available. (Distance from London Heathrow to Eastbourne : 146 kilometres.) For access by road, take M25/M23/A23/A27. There are rail links to Eastbourne from London Victoria railroad station. Some facilities may be withdrawn without notice. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.
MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.
Other of my hubpages may also be of interest
- Visiting Eastbourne, England and its Martello Wish Tower: remembering the Napoleonic Wars
One of a large series of coastal towers built during the threat of Napoleonic invasion, this fine example of a Martello tower at Eastbourne was in intermittent, military use for more than a century.
- Visiting Leaf Hall, Eastbourne, England: Continental Gothic by R. K. Blessley, opened in 1864
This imposing building in Eastbourne was designed by a prominent, local architect working in Gothic style; it has been linked with the Leaf family, and local causes including various churches.
- Visiting Beamsley Hall, Eastbourne, East Sussex, England: Gothic Revival, formerly Methodist, dating
Even within Eastbourne, Methodism and its buildings were many-faceted; this former Methodist chapel gives evidence of 19th century likings for Gothic Revival architecture.
- Visiting the dizzying cliffs at Beachy Head, near Eastbourne, England; or: keep away from the edge!
Scenically striking and historically absorbing, Beachy Head also maintains something of a sinister reputation also.
- Visiting Bouillon, Belgium: memories of Godefroid, styled King of Jerusalem, and his castle
So this Medieval castle is in Luxembourg? Well, yes and no. Some geography The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, with its many castles, is an independent state, which neighbours Belgium. Whereas the province of Luxembourg — larger than the Grand..
For your visit, this item may be of interest
More by this Author
Step into the city of Cahors in the French department of Lot, and it is like a step back into the Middle Ages. The Valentré bridge has linked the two banks of the Lot River since the 14th century. It is...
Close to the Medieval Pont Valentré, Cahors Station building is a striking neo-Classical structure which dates from the early part of the 3rd French Republic.
In the centre of the village, a stone monument bears a plaque inscribed: 'BERGHOLZ GERMAN LUTHERAN SETTLEMENT FOUNDED OCT. 12 1843'. And German Americans, mainly Lutheran, have been there ever since. The monument...
No comments yet.