As late as 1813, Eastbourne was simply noted as
a small fashionable watering place adjacent to the
East Sussex South Downs, consisting mainly of the
village of Eastbourne itself over a mile inland and
the hamlet of Seahouses overlooking the beach.
Southbourne and Meades formed two further
In 1851 following the
example of Brighton along the coast, the principal
landowner the Earl of Burlington – later to become
the 7th Duke of Devonshire – started development
of the entire area on an ambitious scale.
Initially in a conservative Regency manner near
the sea, this was shortly followed by distinctly
recognisable grand Victorian and Italianate fashions.
By the turn of the century red brick and tile
hanging from the Weald and decorative gabled
frontages had become the more desirable style.
With its wide avenues, elegant villas, pretentious
terraces and the often dazzling white opulent
hotels or colourful guest houses lining the seafront,
the resort has for many years been affectionately
known as the ‘Empress of the Watering Places’.
The 7 km tiered and flower-lined promenade,
backed by landscaped slopes and gardens at its
western extremity adjoining the Downs, extends
as far as Langney Point close to the Pevensey
Levels. It is this juxtaposition of town planning,
local facilities, the aspect of the sea and surrounding
countryside and an exceptionally sunny climate
that has made Eastbourne such a notable resort,
considered by many to be one of the finest in
Britain. All of this is justly celebrated in renowned
photographer Iain McGowan’s masterly evocation
in more than 60 images of the true spirit of
Iain McGowan is a Fellow of the
Royal Photographic Society and a
professional photographer specialising
in landscape and environmental
Over the years he has had photographs
reproduced in numerous books
published by Halsgrove and also in
magazines, postcards, brochures,
tourism literature and exhibitions.
He now spends a considerable amount
of his time conducting Landscape
Photographic Workshops around the
UK. He has lived in Sussex since the
age of five.
Imprint: PiXZ Books. ISBN 978 1 906887 33 9, hardback, 110x155mm, 64 pages. Published March 2010.