Visiting Gildredge Manor, Eastbourne, East Sussex, England: Georgian Building Dating from 1776
Georgian and typically English, by whatever name...
The fact that from 1714 until 1830 Great Britain had four Kings called George meant that the Neoclassical revival in architecture — which occurred signifcantly during their reigns — was named for them; and this with reason.
Among the myriad examples of Georgian architecture is Gildredge Manor, Old Town, Eastbourne, East Sussex, England.
Dating from 1776, the Neoclassical influence on the building's styling is clear: these features include the small pediments at roof level and above the main entrance, entrance pillars and the clean, square lines of symmetrically placed windows.
The building overlooks two parks in the Old Town area: the small Manor Park and the larger Gildredge Gardens.
Now for some oddities...(Readers didn't think that they could read about something historical and English without a certain amount of oddity, did they...?) Because the building — including even in recent years — has been known by various names. Currently it is referred to as Gildredge Manor by its private owners. But previously it went by a variety of names: the Manor House; the Gilbert Manor House, the Gildredge Manor House and the (old) Towner Art Gallery and Museum (2). Some of the past names by which this Georgian building was known refer to families who owned the property. (Perhaps it is not so odd, after all; but I would venture the guess that Gildredge Manor, having undergone several name changes over the past 200 years or so, may change its name yet again...eventually....)
However, the original owner of the building, back in 1776, was the Rev. Dr. Henry Lushington, who was the Anglican minister of Old Town parish church, in Eastbourne, who commissioned it.
During the building's manifestation as an art gallery and museum, it was notably visited by Queen Mary (1867-1953), Queen Consort of King George V (1865-1936), who reigned from 1910 until 1936.
Today the fine Georgian dwelling has become a sought after venue for events such as weddings (3).
By whatever name, this building is Georgian and typically English, for its period...
Gildredge Manor is situated at 11 Borough Lane, Eastbourne, East Sussex.
July 20, 2019
(1) See also: https://www.gildredgemanor.co.uk/our-history/
(2) It was in this manifestation that I myself visited what is now Gildredge Manor; the art gallery and museum in question has since moved to a new location at Devonshire Park, College Road, Eastbourne. See also: https://www.townereastbourne.org.uk/
(3) Eastbourne is known for its many language schools; and during the summer months especially the Borough's population is significantly swelled by the presence of overseas students following courses at Eastbourne's many teaching establishments. In recent years plans were being made for Gildredge Manor also to be used by such a language school.
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 Hallis architecturally distinguished; Sovereign Harbour is reputed to be Europe's largest marina; there are many fine examples of ecclesiastical architecture.
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. You are advised to check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.
MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.
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