Eastbourne Heritage Centre

Eastbourne WWII
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The Eastbourne Heritage Centre is housed in a delightful Grade II Listed Victorian tower house, 2 Carlisle Road Eastbourne. It was fomerly the residence of the Devonshire Park and Baths Manager. The building was saved from the threat of demolition by the Eastbourne Society restored and converted by Richard Crook RIBA, and a team of volunteers with a grant from the Carnegie UK Trust.

The Eastbourne Heritage Centre provides exhibitions about Eastbourne, celebrating our iconic seaside built heritage as well as providing a home for the Eastbourne Society too. New displays and films about Eastbourne are shown each season.


Discover Eastbourne.. the story of how the town developed into a fashionable, stylish, well-planned Victorian seaside resort. See how it grew and expanded over the years to include a marina today.

Exhibits include original maps, architectural details, artefacts, photographs and scale models of the Bandstand, Winter Garden, Railway Station and Sovereign Harbour.

East of the Pier My Dear!

Board our Eastbourne motor omnibus and take a journey through the East side of the town beyond the Queen's Hotel designed and built by architect Henry Currey to act as a deliberate barrier separating the upper class West side from the East! Discover the past and present buildings steeped in history - the Marine Seawater Baths, Leaf Hall and Charles Jewell clubs, a coach maker, Tom Thumb fisherman's cottages, a Steam Laundry, Christ Church and beyond to the Crumbles and Sovereign Harbour.

Front Line Exhibition

Eastbourne during WWII was one of the most heavily bombed town on the South coast. To accompany this exhibition Eastbourne Heritatge Centre has a replica of 1945 commemorative booklet about Eastbourne in WWII, packed with photographs from the Eastbourne Herald and Gazette newspapers. It is available from the Heritage Centre shop £5.99.

NEW FOR 2015 - from 2 May to 31 October

Eastbourne Views by James Owen

The main exhibition at Eastbourne Heritage Centre for 2015 will be 'Eastbourne Views by James Owen' from May to October. Opening on 2nd May there will be an additional special display for two weeks only of the largest collection ever brought together of original James Owen watercolours of Eastbourne and district painted in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Many works will be loaned from private collectors and have never been seen in public before, there will also be a selection from the Towner Collection. In addition over fifty of the known postcards reproductions of James Owen's watercolours will also be shown. James Owen’s great-great-grandson, Russell, will be in attendance during the special two-week period to talk to visitors about the watercolours and postcards, and he will also give two talks in our cinema bringing us up to date with his findings about the life of his ancestor. Reproductions of some of the James Owen postcards and other merchandise, exclusive to the Heritage Centre, will be available from the shop.

NEW FOR 2015 - from 2 May to 31 October

80th Anniversary of Eastbourne's Bandstand

2015 is 80th anniversary of the opening of Eastbourne’s Grand Parade Bandstand. The first concerts were given on 28 July 1935 with a total of 10,400 attending all three concerts and paying 3d each. The Heritage Centre will be highlighting its display and scale model of Grand Parade Bandstand and will include screen images showing all four bandstands that once stood along the seafront, and one on the Pier. To coincide with the 80th anniversary there will be an opportunity in July to enjoy the immensely popular talk 'Eastbourne's Five Bandstands and Music in the Town' by Owen Boydell. The shop will also stock merchandise featuring the Bandstand to include greetings cards, tea towels, mugs, and fridge magnets for visitors to take away as souvenirs.

Venue Type:

Museum, Architecture centre

Opening hours

Opening times:

Until 28 March Saturday 10am-4pm.

30 March to October 31 Mon, Tues, Thurs 2pm-5pm, Fri 10am-1pm, Sat 10am-4pm. Closed Good Friday. 

November 2015 to Easter 2016 please visit www.eastbourneheritagecentre.co.uk or telephone 01323 411189 to check opening times before visiting

Admission charges

- Adult £3.00
- Senior/Student £2.50
- Child £1.00
- Family £6.00

All of the above full price entry tickets are valid for 28 days allowing the purchaser re-entry during afternoon opening hours. Please retain your ticket should you wish to make use of this and visit us within 28 days.

Group visits

Discounts are available for schools and colleges to visit the Centre outside of opening hours. Advance booking is necessary.

The Centre and cinema is also available for hire for meetings, presentations and talks outside or opening hours.

Please contact Eastbourne Heritage Centre for further information on 01323 411189

Getting there

- 15 minutes walk from the Railway Station and Terminus Road buses
- No. 3 bus (to Meads) stops outside
- Pay and display parking is available on Carlisle Road and the seafront

Eastbourne Heritage Collection includes:-

Architectural details
- Cast iron street furniture and railings, Stoneware urn, terracotta roof tiles and finials, plaster mouldings and zinc roof tiles from the seafront and town

Original town plans
- for Victorian Eastbourne drawn up by architects Henry Currey and Nicholas Whitley

Scale models
- William Figg's map of Eastbourne of 1817, Railway Station, Winter Garden, Old Town, Bandstand and Sovereign Harbour

Printed and other materials
- Postcards and ephemera
- Engravings and watercolours
- Oil paintings

Due to space restrictions in the building selected items from our Collection are on display and may change from time to time to accommodate special exhibitions.

New for 2014

The Heritage Centre Collection online

The Collection is being archived, catalogued and photographed - the first phase showing a selection of postcard views of Eastbourne will be seen on our new website www.eastbourneheritagecentre.co.uk

Collection details

Architecture, Photography, Social History

Getting there

- 15 minutes walk from the Railway Station and Terminus Road buses
- No. 3 bus (to Meads) stops outside
- Pay and display parking is available on Carlisle Road and the seafront

Eastbourne Heritage Centre
2 Carlisle Road
East Sussex
BN21 4BT






01323 411189

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.