St. Leonards Archway
|St. Leonards Archway|
The St Leonards Archway (also known as the 'East Lodge', or 'East Gate'), a Doric styled arch stood on Grand Parade between 1828 and 1895, marking the border between Hastings and St Leonards. Within at least the seaward side of the arch was a diminutive dwelling which, for a period, was occupied by the St. Leonards Beadle (town crier)
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. On the 3rd of August 1894, by a narrow margin of two votes, the council voted to proceed with the purchase and demolition.This led to a number of protests and petitions against the demolition of a fine structure for the sake of 45" of road width. 
Under the cover of darkness, and in great secrecy, the arch was demolished overnight on the 22nd January 1895, 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".
References & Notes
- Baines Index Book
- Brett Manuscript Histories Vol. 1 Chap. V
- J. Manwaring Baines 'Burtons St Leonards'
- Hastings and St Leonards Observer - Saturday 04 August 1894