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Borough of Eastbourne
Coordinates 50 ° 46 ′  N , 0 ° 17 ′  E Coordinates: 50 ° 46 ′  N , 0 ° 17 ′  E
OS National Grid TV608991
Borough of Eastbourne (England)
Borough of Eastbourne
Borough of Eastbourne
Residents 101,547 (as of 2014)
surface 44.16 km² (17.05  mi² )
Population density: 2300 inhabitants per km²
prefix 01323
Part of the country England
ONS code 21UC
Website: www.eastbourne.gov.uk

Eastbourne is a seaside resort on the English Channel in East Sussex in England , United Kingdom . With a population of around 102,000, Eastbourne is the second largest city in the county, according to a 2014 estimate. It is also a district of East Sussex and belongs to the region of South East England .


Location of Eastbourne in East Sussex

The town lies on the edge of the South Downs , a hilly chalk landscape in the counties of East Sussex, West Sussex and Hampshire in the south of England. Southwest of the city is the Beachy Head headland , which ends with 162 meter high chalk cliffs .

Protected by rocks and hills, Eastbourne is one of the places in England with the most hours of sunshine of the year. The city likes to call itself The Sunshine Coast .


The Bourne Stream at Motcombe Gardens

Origin of name

The place name Eastbourne goes back to the Bourne brook (<Borne <Burn; cf. German Born, Brunnen), which used to flow through the town. At the end of the 13th century the prefix "East-" was added, presumably to distinguish between the village of Borne in the east of the county and the one in the west that eventually became known as Westbourne. The stream can hardly be seen these days as it was canalised almost everywhere until the beginning of the 20th century. Only near its source near Motcombe Gardens - and occasionally behind the houses along the street called The Goffs - is the Bourne still visible today.

First settlement, Romans and Normans

The surrounding area has been populated since the Stone Age. Flint mines and artifacts from this period have been discovered in the surrounding area . In 1717 a Roman bath and part of a Roman sidewalk were discovered between today's pier and the redoubt in what was then called the “Sea Houses”. In 1841 the remains of a Roman villa were discovered in front of today's entrance to the pier, which are now buried near the Queens Hotel, which opened in 1880.

An Anglo-Saxon title deed dated around 963 describes a pier and a stream in Bourne. After the conquest of England by the Normans , the social unit called "the Eastbourne Hundred" was owned by Robert von Mortain , the half-brother of William the Conqueror . The Domesday Book lists 28 acres, a church, a water mill, fishing areas and salt pans.

From the late Middle Ages to the 16th century

Bartholomew de Badlesmere was given permission to set up a weekly market in 1315/1316, which favored the local trade and at the same time increased Bartholomew's status as a squire. Henry I (England) came to the city in the Middle Ages . The next royal visit was in 1324 by Edward II .

The 14th century Saint Mary's Church and Bourne Place manor house, which is still owned by the Dukes of Devonshire, bear witness to Eastbourne's medieval past. In the mid-16th century, the house was the Burton family estate. At that time, this acquired a lot of land on which the present-day city was subsequently built. During the Georgian period, the house was extensively remodeled and named Compton Place. The listed Compton Place is one of the three most important buildings in Eastbourne.

19th century

The area consisted of small settlements until the 19th century, four of which gradually merged into one town. When the city was connected to the railway network in the 19th century, Eastbourne was transformed into a prime seaside resort. In the 19th century Eastbourne was systematically developed into a seaside resort for "gentlemen" by the two largest landowners (William Cavendish, 7th Duke of Devonshire, and John Davies Gilbert). Friedrich Engels loved staying in Eastbourne so much that his urn was sunk five nautical miles offshore at Beachy Head, as he wished .

Eastern part of the Eastbourne seafront as seen from the pier

Second World War

The Second World War brought decisive cuts for the city. After children had been evacuated from bomb-prone cities to Eastbourne, because they were believed to be safe there, this changed in June 1940. In that month France surrendered and it was assumed that Eastbourne would be in the zone that was due to a possible German invasion is at risk. The children were then evacuated again, and many residents left their homes and moved inland. Non-residents were subject to strict conditions, so that most hotels had to close due to a lack of guests. Many vacant buildings were then taken over by the army. Radar systems were installed at Beachy Head and Pevensey and thousands of Canadian soldiers were billeted in the city from July 1941. During the war Eastbourne was often the target of bombing raids; many buildings were damaged or destroyed. According to the Home Office, no city in south-east England has been attacked more often. Between May 1942 and June 1943 in particular, there were numerous fighter-bomber raids from northern France.

View from the southwest cliff coast "Beachy Head"

Post-war period and development until today

The city hit the headlines around the world in the summer of 1956 when celebrity doctor John Bodkin Adams was arrested for the murder of elderly widow Edith Alice Morell. As early as 1935, people had wondered why Adams was consistently mentioned in wills of his wealthy patients and received very expensive gifts from them, including two Rolls-Royce vehicles. In the press there were numbers of up to 400 murders that Adams was accused of. He was eventually charged with the murder of 163 people but was acquitted after a controversial trial in March 1957. From 1961 he worked again as a doctor in Eastbourne.

In the post-war period, the city was able to develop again and the new development areas Hampden Park, Willingdon Trees and Langney emerged. The town's development plans did not always meet with approval, especially when the 15th century Pococks mansion was about to be demolished for a new development. The building permit for the South Cliff Tower, a 19-story skyscraper on the western beach, also sparked protests in 1965. In 1981 part of the city center was demolished for the construction of the “Arndale Center” shopping center .

From the 1990s the city was expanded to the east. The area, called Sovereign Harbor, is designed as "Hafencity" with a marina in the dock harbor, restaurants and shops as well as numerous residential buildings and luxury apartments. There was also resistance to the development of this area because rare plants were native to this area.

As a result of this massive construction activity, Eastbourne has now developed into a metropolitan area, the development of which is to be promoted by the planned construction of a bypass road.

At the end of August 2017, a large gas cloud, the cause of which is still unclear, moved from the sea towards the coastal city. Over 150 people who were on the beach and came into contact with the gas had to be treated at the city's hospital.

Eastbourne today

Although there are commercial and industrial areas in Eastbourne, the town is primarily a seaside resort, which derives its income from tourism. However, Eastbourne suffers from the general tendency of the British to vacation abroad. The city has four theaters, numerous parks, a concert pavilion ("Bandstand" on the beach promenade) and several museums. The center of the tourism industry is an 8 km long pebble beach with three terraced promenades. The top promenade is lined with Victorian-style hotels and guest houses. Shops are not to be found there because William Cavendish, 7th Duke of Devonshire, who owned large parts of Eastbourne, had banned the renovation of the hotels. The historic appearance of the city is also due to the 304 m long and 20 m wide pier , opened in 1870 , on which there are entertainment and amusement facilities (including the “Atlantis” disco and a “Blue Saloon” amusement arcade ); however, the Blue Saloon burned down completely on July 30, 2014 and thereafter prevented access to the pier. A similar pier is also located in the seaside resort of Brighton to the west . Other attractions in Eastbourne include the Bandstand Orchestra Pavilion, built in 1935, on the beach.

Eastbourne became internationally known for its annual " Airbourne " air show . Every summer, thousands of British people come to Eastbourne to watch the weekend Airbourne. During the show, bombers , jet fighters and helicopters fly past the coast just meters above the surface of the water, with the highlight being the Red Arrows squadron demonstration . The name "Airbourne" is a play on words from the name of the city and the English word airborne ("airborne"). In 2000, the event had a fatal accident when an aerobatic pilot fell into the water. After this event, the air show was called into question. But it still takes place.

Eastbourne is considered by many to be a place for the elderly because it used to be a popular retirement home. Today, however, this reputation is no longer justified, as urban development in recent times has increasingly aimed to attract young families with children. This included, for example, securing adequate school supplies.

The city is a popular setting for film and television: It appears in the television series Little Britain , the film Diary of a Scandal with Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench was partly shot in the city, as well as parts of the Harry Potter film series .

View of Eastbourne


There is a direct rail link from Eastbourne Station to London Victoria Station . The operator of this railway line is Southern . There is also Hampden Park train station in the city, it is located north of Eastbourne train station, before the junction to Brighton or Hastings. The consequence of this is that trains on the Hastings - Eastbourne - Brighton / - London route either stop once in Hampden Park and pass through once without stopping or stop twice.

For national road traffic, Eastbourne has a connection to the A 22, this is a feeder for the M 25 motorway known as the "London Orbital" (London Ring) . The name of the junction between the A 22 and the M 25 is “Caterham”.

The city ​​bus routes have been operated by the " Stagecoach Group " since the end of 2008 . Two bus lines to Hastings via Bexhill are also operated by Stagecoach, line "the wave" 99 on weekdays every 20 minutes via Pevensey , on Sundays and public holidays every hour. In Hastings there is a connection to the bus route 100 further east to Rye and Lydd .
The driver only stops at the bus stop if the waiting passengers clearly show him that they want to ride and give him a signal (request) or, as in Germany and Austria, someone on the bus has announced the wish to get off by pressing a button. The smaller stops are often only identified by a sign that reads “Bus stop” and is attached to a lamp post.

The bus transport companies "Brighton & Hove" operates the bus lines 12, 12X and 13X. These double-decker buses provide a good, interesting and frequent connection between the pier at Eastbourne and Brighton , often along the coast, via Seaford and Newhaven .


  • Eastbourne hosts a tennis tournament for women ( WTA Eastbourne ) and men ( ATP Eastbourne ).
  • The English football leagues have three city football clubs: Eastbourne Borough FC plays in Conference National , Eastbourne Town FC plays in Ryman League Division One South and Eastbourne United Association FC plays in Sussex County League .
  • In Speedway the team of the Eastbourne Eagles starts in the Speedway Elite League.


The lighthouse at Beachy Head with chalk cliffs

Eastbourne's location on the south coast makes it a popular resort. With its numerous hotels and the well-developed public transport system, the city ​​offers a pleasant and functional tourism infrastructure.

Language trips

Many organizations that offer language trips choose Eastbourne as the course location because the residents there speak a dialect that is close to Oxford English . As a result, there are many foreign students in Eastbourne during the summer months. Eastbourne is particularly popular with language students from Germany, Spain, South Korea, Japan and Austria.

Language schools are divided into two groups: accredited and non-accredited. Eastbourne has eight accredited educational institutions, seven of which are private schools and one that is owned by the state school system. Accredited providers are checked by the British Council and must meet a number of quality criteria.

Language travel tourism has become a decisive economic factor. Jobs are attached to it and new jobs can be created through it.

Other tourism

Boy Scout Bandana from Eastbourne

Elderly people from the northern part of the UK in particular spend their holidays there or relocate to Eastbourne, mainly because of the good climate. This is why the city is often called God's Waiting Room .


East Sussex Fire Brigade

The East Sussex Fire Brigade is a fire brigade organization that provides fire protection and general aid in their county. It was formed in 1974 from the former brigades Brighton, Hastings, Eastbourne and East Sussex. One of the two divisional headquarters is in Eastbourne. The staff consists of full-time and part-time firefighters.



  • Elisabeth Bergh: The English seaside resort of Eastbourne . In: Vom Fels zum Meer , 20.2 (1901), pp. 952/953 (with 2 photographic images)

Web links

Commons : Eastbourne  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Eastbourne  Travel Guide

Individual evidence

  1. ^ [1] East Sussex County Council (accessed September 20, 2011)
  2. Archive link ( Memento June 4, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Eastbourne Borough Council (accessed June 9, 2008)
  3. ^ Harold Spears: The Stream that gave Eastbourne its Name , Eastbourne Local History Society, Eastbourne 1975.
  4. ^ A b J. C. Wright: Bygone Eastbourne , Spottiswoode, Eastbourne 1902.
  5. ^ N Whitfield Smith: Eastbourne - A History & Celebration , Frith Book Company, 2004, ISBN 1-904938-24-8 .
  6. ^ Lawrence Stevens: A Short History of Eastbourne , Eastbourne Local History Society, Eastbourne, 1987, ISBN 0-9504560-7-1
  7. , The Book of Eastbourne , Produced for the 99th annual meeting of the British Medical Association, Eastbourne, 1931
  8. [2]  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. - “Listed Buildings-Eastbourne”, Eastbourne Borough Council (accessed July 16, 2008)@1@ 2Template: Dead Link / www.eastbourne.gov.uk  
  9. ^ A b John Surtees: Eastbourne's Story , SB Publications, Eastbourne 2005, ISBN 1-85770-298-0
  10. Michael Ockenden: Canucks by the Sea . Eastbourne Local History Society, Eastbourne 2006, ISBN 0-9547647-1-4 .
  11. George Humphrey: Wartime Eastbourne . Beckett Features, Eastbourne 1989, ISBN 1-871986-00-1 .
  12. Pamela V. Cullen: A Stranger in Blood: The Case Files on Dr John Bodkin Adams . Elliott & Thompson, London 2006, ISBN 1-904027-19-9 .
  13. ^ Hallworth, Rodney and Mark Williams: Where there's a will ... The sensational life of Dr John Bodkin Adams , Capstan Press, Jersey 1983, ISBN 0-946797-00-5
  14. ^ Eastbourne Town Center Regeneration . Eastbourne Borough Council. Archived from the original on September 27, 2006. Retrieved June 24, 2007.
  15. Gas cloud drifts over the British coast - 150 injured , on spiegel.de, August 28, 2017. Accessed August 29, 2017.
  16. ^ [3] Eastbourne Borough Council (accessed June 17, 2008)
  17. Harold Spears, Lawrence Stevens, Richard Crook, Vera Hodsoll: Eight Town Walks in Eastbourne , Eastbourne Local History Society, Eastbourne 1981
  18. ^ Harry Potter Comes to Eastbourne. Eastbourne Herald, September 15, 2004, accessed November 18, 2012 .
  19. ^ [4] British Council - Accreditation (accessed October 15, 2010)
  20.  ( page no longer available , search in web archives ) "Eastbourne's students are a valuable asset" - Eastbourne Borough Council (accessed June 11, 2008)@1@ 2Template: Dead Link / www.eastbourne.gov.uk
  21. ^ Franz-Josef Sehr : East Sussex Fire Brigade . In: Florian Hessen 4/1989 . Munkelt Verlag, Wiesbaden 1989, p. 31-32 . ISSN 0936-5370 .