ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Visiting Old Town, Eastbourne, and its 11th century parish church, East Sussex, England: stones with memories

Updated on December 17, 2012
Flag of England
Flag of England | Source
St Mary the Virgin's Church, Church Street, Old Town, Eastbourne, East Sussex, England. Eastbourne's ancient parish church.
St Mary the Virgin's Church, Church Street, Old Town, Eastbourne, East Sussex, England. Eastbourne's ancient parish church. | Source
Map location of Eastbourne, East Sussex
Map location of Eastbourne, East Sussex | Source

A direct link with the era of the Norman Conquest

To give it its full name, the Church of St Mary the Virgin is Eastbourne's ancient parish church. Situated in Old Town (as one might expect), the building is located in Church Street (as one also might expect).

The building was executed in Caen stone, brought from Normandy (1). Dating from the 12th century, its venue says a lot about the origins of the town. Erected by a local stream, or bourne, it is part of the nucleus of what is now known as Old Town. The building is thus a direct link from the times of the Norman Conquest.

The building was expanded in the 14th century, and thoroughly renovated in the 19th century. Its style is described as a combination of Norman and Romanesque. The interior of the building has pillars in alternating octagonal and round shapes. The building contains the tombs of a number of local patrons, dating back to Medieval times.

Within the building's wide, greensand tower (2), the church bells were cast in 1818, and most recently overhauled in 1994; the chief bell-ringer is known as the Tower Captain.

Various, reigning monarchs have visited the church, including King George V, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II.

The church has a strong, musical tradition and its choir is affiliated to the Royal School of Church Music. There is also a resident Early Music Chamber Choir.

It would be very fair to say that this Church of England parish building, steeped in history, can be well described as 'quintessentially English'. The church of St Mary the Virgin is thus the oldest of Eastbourne's churches, of which there are now many.

Eastbourne is in England's county of East Sussex.

December 17, 2012


(1) It is maybe significant that Robert, Count of Mortain (c.1031-1090), half-brother to William the Conqueror, and companion in arms at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, served as the local landlord. Patronage has doubtless exercised its ways over many centuries!

(2) Greensand is a locally quarried form of sandstone. Thus it is clear that the Normandy trade route gave way to locally obtained resources!

Also worth seeing

In Eastbourne itself, other visitor attractions include: the Beachy Head cliffs; the Martello Wish Tower; Eastbourne Pier; the Redoubt fortress; its 19th century Town Hall; and many others.


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.

For your visit, these items may also be of interest


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)