St. Leonards Archway

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St. Leonards Archway
General information
AddressGrand Parade

The St Leonards Archway (also known as the 'East Lodge', or 'East Gate'), a Doric styled arch stood on Grand Parade between 1828[1] and 1895, marking the border between Hastings and St Leonards. Within the seaward side of the arch was a diminutive dwelling which, for a period, was occupied by the St. Leonards Beadle (town crier)[2]

In 1886, the council proposed purchasing the arch from the then owner, Decimus Burton with a view to demolishing it to facilitate the widening of the coast road, provoking a fiercely fought debate on both sides. Mr. Burton himself had actually proposed demolition of the structure in 1867.[3] On the 3rd of August 1894, by a narrow margin of two votes, the council voted to proceed with the purchase and demolition.[4]This led to a number of protests and petitions against the demolition of a fine structure for the sake of 45" of road width. [5]


Under the cover of darkness, and in great secrecy, the arch was demolished overnight on the 22nd January 1895[6], work commencing at 11:30 pm, all that was left by noon the next day were 12" or so of the piers. As a condition of the sale (and demolition), a red granite plinth dedicated to James Burton was erected on the seaward side of the arch's location. The inscription reads; "THIS STONE ERECTED IN 1898 MARKS THE EASTERN BOUNDARY AT THIS POINT OF THE TOWN OF ST LEONARD FOUNDED BY THE LATE JAMES BURTON ESQR 1828".[5]


References & Notes