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Visiting Hartington Place, Eastbourne, England: Regency grace and allusion to the heirs of the Dukes of Devonshire

Updated on January 2, 2016
Flag of England
Flag of England | Source
5–21 Hartington Place, Eastbourne, East Sussex, England
5–21 Hartington Place, Eastbourne, East Sussex, England | Source
Spencer Cavendish, 8th Duke of Devonshire (1833–1908) circa 1865, and his wife Louisa Frederica Augusta von Alten, widow of the late William Drogo Montagu, 7th Duke of Manchester.
Spencer Cavendish, 8th Duke of Devonshire (1833–1908) circa 1865, and his wife Louisa Frederica Augusta von Alten, widow of the late William Drogo Montagu, 7th Duke of Manchester. | Source
The Marchioness of Hartington (formerly Kathleen Kennedy) in London, wearing an American Red Cross uniform. Photograph in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/2_EMsRKtaUe4N3hAs4p1DA.aspx
The Marchioness of Hartington (formerly Kathleen Kennedy) in London, wearing an American Red Cross uniform. Photograph in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/2_EMsRKtaUe4N3hAs4p1DA.aspx | Source

Listed and evocatively named

This gracious row of houses in Eastbourne, East Sussex, England is located at 5-21 Hartington Place. In England, heritage properties are known as Listed buildings and this row of houses is classified under Grade 2 of this designation.

The preponderant stylistic impression given by this row of properties is Regency — most particularly associated with the reigns first four King Georges and King William IV (died 1837). However, the properties at 5-21 Hartington Place date, in fact, from the 1850s.

The row of houses is 4 storeys high. Conspicuous features include conical cornices which separate the storeys, Doric porch columns and cast iron balconies.

In some ways, this Regency-style row is rather a reminder of similar properties which abound in places such as the West End of London, Bath, Brighton and Hove.

Eastbourne as a resort was developed in the 19th century by the Dukes of Devonshire; the name of this distinguished dukedom features on various structures in the town. Within the British system, the heirs to the Duke of Devonshire have traditionally been given the courtesy title of Marquess of Hartington. Among the prominent holders of the title of Marquess of Hartington have been Spencer Cavendish (1833-1908)(1) who succeeded William Gladstone as Liberal leader in 1875 (2), and William Cavendish, who in 1944 married Kathleen Kennedy (1920-1948) — a sister to President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) — who thus became the Marchioness of Hartington, before she tragically became a war widow, a fate shared by many young wives of the period (3).

November 10, 2015

Notes

(1) The Cavendish family name of the Dukes of Devonshire also features on local Eastbourne properties.

(2) Spencer Cavendish, Marquess of Hartington, famously broke with Gladstone over Home Rule for Ireland after his younger brother, Lord Frederick Cavendish (1836-1882), who was born at Compton Place, Eastbourne, was assassinated by Irish republicans in Phoenix Park, Dublin, while serving as Chief Secretary for Ireland.

(3) Kathleen Kennedy Cavendish, Marchioness of Hartington, herself died tragically in an air crash in 1948.

Map location of Eastbourne, East Sussex
Map location of Eastbourne, East Sussex | Source

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; Holywell is a scenic area near the cliffs; Sovereign Harbour is reputed to be Europe's largest marina.

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.

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