Part 2: St Leonards

Map of Hastings 1859 (85kb)
Map of Hastings Old Town c.1850s (330kb)
Map of St Leonards 1873 (271kb)

In 1828 James Burton (1761-1837), a successful London architect, commenced building a new town, on land owned by him, and under his own supervision. It was a purpose-built resort for the well-to-do. Among the first buildings completed were the St Leonards Hotel, a house for himself (now 57 Marina), the South Colonnade, an Archway marking the town boundary with Hastings, and tall seafront houses (as far as 71 Marina).

His son Decimus, also an architect, became a Commissioner of the new town in 1833. He leased a triangle of land bounded by Mercatoria, St John's Church, Maze Hill and Kenilworth Road. Here he built The Cottage (now St Leonards Lodge), Maze Hill House (demolished), The Mount (13 houses), The Uplands (6), The Lawn (10), and a school (now part of the College). Later, in Upper Maze Hill he built Baston Lodge, Tower House and Clone House (now Healey House). He gave some land in Mercatoria for a National School, and completed his father's seafront terrace by building 72 to 82 Marina.

Burton's St Leonards in the 1860s. This was the area intended for the wealthy.
On the right are The Uplands and The Lawn.
Off the map to the right are the poor areas: Lavatoria, Shepherd Street, North Street etc.

Burton's St Leonards Subscription Gardens looking south-east.
Drawing by Foulon, print by Hullmandel.
Middle left - Maze Hill;  middle centre - St Leonards Hotel;
far left - The Clock House.
To the left of the Clock House is The Uplands.
(Lithograph, c.1845)

Southall's Royal Victoria Library, in front of the St Leonards Hotel.
Opened in 1831, it was a booksellers, library, post office and bank, and had a printing press. As can be seen in the illustration below, it was not a detatched building but one end of the South Colonnade, omitted from the drawing.
(Drawing by John Foulon)

Another drawing by John Foulon.
An imaginative, synoptic view of St Leonards in 1834

Acknowledgements and bibliography

J Manwaring Baines: Historic Hastings (Parsons 1955)
D Thornton: Hastings: A Living History (1987)
P Haines: Hastings in Old Photographs (Sutton 1989)
R Marchant: Hastings Past (Phillimore 1997)
J Meredith: Old Town Hastings (Meredith 1986)
T Wales: Hastings (Chalford 1998)
D R Elleray: Hastings: A Pictorial History (Phillimore 1979)
Hastings Local History Group: Hastings Bygones vols. I & 2

Return to Part 1: Hastings