St. Leonards Gardens

From Historical Hastings

St. Leonards Gardens sit behind the Royal Victoria Hotel on the seafront, and was formerly known as 'Victoria Gardens'.[1] Originally laid out as a private garden for the Burton family, the gardens slowly fell into a state of disrepair. The gardens were then taken over as subscription gardens for the surrounding houses (particularly on Maze Hill. Following news that there were possibly plans to sell the gardens for building land, a public enquiry was held, the outcome of which was that[2] the gardens were bought in 1879 by Hastings Borough Council for the sum of £9,000 (of which £2,000 was raised by public subscription).

During 1864, there was some scandal caused by the hedging surrounding the gardens being covered in tar to discourage spectators from viewing the ice-skaters on the lake. This was carried out apparently by the proprietor of the gardens and damaged a fair number of dresses and skirts worn by members of the public walking around the perimeter of the gardens[3].


References & Notes

  1. Hastings and St Leonards Observer - Saturday 21 October 1922 p4
  2. British Newspaper Archive Hastings & St. Leonards Observer 13 September 1879 Pg. 0003
  3. Brett Manuscript Histories Vol. 10 Chap. 71 Pg. 239