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A Moment in Time: Burtons’ St Leonards

This photographic exhibition is about capturing a moment in the life of Burtons’ St Leonards from the late 1960s to the early 1980s. For older generations, a visual reminder of these decades, and for the younger generations an insight into recent social history.

Many of the photographs which will be on display originate from an exhibition called “Let’s Save Burtons’ St Leonards”, put on by the Mount Preservation Society, the precursor to the Burtons’ St Leonards Society. That exhibition ran for a week in May 1968 at the Royal Victoria Hotel.

The exhibition venue, the Masonic Hall, started life as the Assembly Rooms, originally the social heart of Burtons’ St Leonards, built by James Burton in 1829. The Society has arranged with the Masonic Hall that a pay bar will be available throughout the event and an optional small cream tea, tea/coffee and jam/cream scone at £4.50 per head.


Sunday 8 October from 2pm-6pm at the Masonic Hall, East Ascent, TN38 0DR.

2pm-3pm Burtons’ St Leonards Society exclusive members’ preview; 3pm-6pm open access.

Entrance: Society members free, non-members £3.

Disabled access will be available at the rear of the Masonic Hall opposite the entrance to St Leonards Gardens

James Haliburton – Zealous investigator in Egypt of its Geology and Antiquities

Illustrated Talk by Stephen Gray:

Sunday 27th March 2022
4 p.m. Burton Room, Royal Victoria Hotel

Admission: Non-members £5.00 – Members £2.50

Of the twelve children of James and Elizabeth Burton, ten survived infancy: William Ford, Eliza, James, Jane, Septimus, Octavia, Henry, Decimus, Alfred, Jessy (Jessica) – a remarkable family. One of the most remarkable is the second son, James (1786-1862), the subject of Stephen Gray’s talk.

Vandeleur Benjamin Crake & Family

Their cultural & architectural contributions to St Leonards & Hastings

Talk by Christopher Maxwell-Stewart

Vandeleur Benjamin Crake (1816 – 1894) was the foremost member of the Crake family who made major contributions to the architectural and cultural heritage of St Leonards in the later decades of the 19th Century. The Scottish baronial ‘Highlands Gardens’ are his most obvious bequest but of equal importance architecturally are the ‘Arts and Crafts’ residences in Boscobel Road which he commissioned Philip Tree to design. His life was a contrast of great sadness and wonderful friendships most notably with Edward Lear.

Christopher Maxwell-Stewart was a founding trustee of the Burtons’ St Leonards Society and is the current chair. In recent years he has researched the development of St Leonards beyond the Burton Estate.

Royal Victoria Hotel
Sunday 26th September 2021
3.00 p.m

£2.50 members & £5.00 non members

Highlands Gardens

Death at Caterina Villa. The First Murder in Burtons’ St Leonards, 1848

Sunday 23rd February :

Talk by Helena Wojtczak

Helena Wojtczak is a local author and historian specialising in the lives of women in the Victorian era. She has written four books about the subject and one on the history of female railway workers. After discovering that a serial poisoner and Jack the Ripper suspect once lived and worked in Hastings, she branched out into a new genre and wrote a study of his life and crimes. She is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and her latest book ‘Strange Exits from Hastings’ will be launched at the talk. 

Royal Victoria Hotel 4 p.m.

£2.50 members & £5.00 non members

How to build a Georgian house

A talk by Steven Gray

Sunday 27th October 2019 – 4 pm

Royal Victoria Hotel, St Leonards

From the aftermath of the Great Fire of London and into the Victorian era, one house type was ubiquitous from London to Bath, Liverpool to Dublin and Boston to St Leonard’s-on-Sea. Danish architect Steen Eiler Rasmussen described the Georgian terrace house as “…a refined industrial product brought to perfection through constant selection during repeated serial construction.”

For further information please click here to download the leaflet.


A showing of the 1925 silent film She with introductory talks by Christopher Maxwell-Stewart and Olga Mamonova on the life and works of St Leonards resident, Sir Henry Rider Haggard.

She was one of Rider Haggard’s most popular works, together with the famous King Solomon’s Mines and its sequel, Alan Quartermain.

Click here to download PDF

Sunday 29th September 2019 – 4-6 pm Kino Teatr, Norman Road, St Leonards