This is the first of an occasional series, in chronological order, of some mentions of St Leonards in newspapers, as found on the priced British Newspaper Archive.
12 April 1828, Public Ledger and Public Advertiser:
Sale on the 25 June 1828 of the freehold estate called Bohemia in the vicinity of Hastings, in five lots. Some of the advert is shown below.
14 Apr 1828, Sussex Advertiser:
MASONS. SUCH steady Persons as have been accustomed to ROUGH MASONRY, using the Stone of the County, will have immediate EMPLOY, at reasonable wages, by applying at the WORKS on the Coast, at St Leonard’s, one mile westward of Hastings.
12 June 1828, Globe, citing Brighton Gazette:
A new town, as has been stated in the papers, is now erecting about a mile on this side of Hastings, to which it bears much the same relation as Kemp Town does to Brighton. It is in contemplation to connect it at Battle with the main road. The architect is Mr Decimus Burton, who is favourably known by the triumphal arch at Hyde Park Corner, and also by the new church at Tunbridge Wells.[The above notice was in error, as the architect was James Burton, Decimus’ father]
30 July 1829, Brighton Gazette:
ST LEONARDS, NEAR HASTINGS. TO TRADESMEN AND OTHERS.
SEVERAL of the houses at this place, intended for respectable trades, will be ready for occupancy at Michaelmas next. The shops are under a long Colonnade, facing the Sea and Public Esplanade, with Private houses over them, having distinct entrances from a wide Street in the rear. Several of the houses are already Let. Persons ready to treat for such trades as are not already concluded for, are invited to view them. The rents will be progressive and moderate, so as to afford every reasonable prospect of success to those who may engage them. The character of the climate for salubrity, and of the country and coast for beautiful scenery being so well established. – Particulars may be had from Mr Leane, the resident Agent. The road from the London road between the 59th and 60th mile stone branching off for St Leonards and Hastings is now opened, by which nearly four miles in distance to the former is saved.
19 Oct 1829, Morning Chronicle:
ST LEONARD’S.—SPLENDID HOTEL, EXTENSIVE BATHS, AND MODERN VILLAS.—JAMES BURTON, Esq. the eminent builder, to whom Russell-square, Tavistock-square, Euston-square, Burton Crescent, and all the capacious streets in that part of the metropolis owe their erection, has laid the foundation of an entirely new town, on a delightful and picturesque spot, near the Sea, at St Leonard’s, about a mile from Hastings, to the West. The first stone was laid in March, 1828; and such as been the activity of Mr BURTON, that one of the largest, most convenient, and pleasantly situated hotels in this kingdom is already finished, to which spacious baths, upon a large and quite a novel scale, are appended. Many villas and houses of the first class are likewise in progress. The ground is laid out, and the plantations and decorative embellishments far advanced. Not having previously heard of this new speculation, on which it is said nearly two hundred thousand pounds, at least, are soon likely to be expended, this place came upon the writer of this paragraph, on a late tour, like fairy-land. It is quite impossible that St Leonard’s should not become the resort of the highest fashion, both in summer and in winter, for it is completely sheltered from the north winds by very high rocks.
22 Oct 1829, Brighton Gazette:
ONE MILE TO THE WESTWARD OF HASTINGS. ST LEONARD’S HOTEL.
J HODGSON (late of the Piazza, Covent Garden,) takes leave respectfully to acquaint the Nobility and Gentry that he has opened the above House in one of the most desirable situations on the Coast. The furniture throughout is entirely new, and, in addition to the advantage of an uninterrupted sea view, it possesses, in its immediate vicinity, some of the most picturesque rides and drives in the kingdom.
J.H. trusts, by a most assiduous attention to the comforts and convenience of those who may honour him with a trial, as also, by a strict adherence to the most moderate charges, that he will be found to deserve their Patronage.
The nearest road to St Leonards from London is through the Toll Gate near the 59 mile stone opposite the Harrow, being 2 miles 3 furlongs from thence, and 3 ½ nearer than by going through Hastings.
Coaches pass through the place daily, from London, Brighton, Dover, etc. Ample stabling, etc.[Followed by a short notice of the opening dinner]