Glimpse history through old images of Crowhurst, East Sussex, England.
Crowhurst Viaduct 1969
Apparently in the 1960s some people saw the historic railway viaduct as ‘a decaying eyesore’ or ‘a blot on the landscape, fit only for blowing up’.
The viaduct was quarter of a mile long. Until 1964, it had been carrying trains across Crowhurst Marsh.
There’s an astonishing moment at the end, as the men walk towards the huge pile of rubble, the arch to their left still towering into the sky.
Blowing Up Viaduct (1969) – British Pathé on YouTube
A Bit of Crowhurst History
Extract from: The antiquarian itinerary, by James Sargant Storer
Published in 1816
ORIGINALLY one of the many lordships possessed by
Harold , earl of Kent , in the reign of Edward the Confessor ,
after the Conquest was seized by king William , and given ,
with other demesnes , to Alan Fergant , Earl of Brittany and
Richmond , as a reward for his courage at the battle of Has
tings , from whom it descended to John , Earl of Brittany and
Richmond , who granted , out of this and other estates , one
hundred marks yearly for life , to Sir John Devereux .
the demise of his lordship , this and other estates devolved to
his sister Joan , the widow of Ralph , Lord Basset of Drayton .
The manor of Crowhurst at present belongs to Henry Cresset
Pelham , Esq . the descendant of a younger branch of that
ancient family , and who has a beautiful seat and park in
this parish , which commands a most delightful prospect of
the ocean and surrounding country .
The Church at Crowhurst , which is situated near a mile
and a half from Mr. Pelham’s residence , is a small edifice ,
and has nothing whatever to render it deserving of the notice
of the antiquary .
In the church – yard is a remarkable large
yew tree , measuring nearly twenty feet in circumference ,
which has a very majestic appearance .
At a short distance on the south side of Crowhurst Church
are some considerable remains of an ancient Chapel , or
Oratory , supposed to have been built by one of the lords of
this manor , and which have , for many years past , been
converted into small buildings for the use of the adjacent
In one of the walls is a fine pointed arched window
with trefoils , in tolerable preservation , which , from its
dimensions , may be concluded to have been formerly the
principal one in the building .
The accompanying engraving
represents the chief part of the ruins of this chapel , or ora
tory , and has a very pleasing and picturesque effect .
Crowhurst is a small parish , situated near seven miles to
the left of Hastings ; and , as a morning ride , is most
enchanting , particularly on proceeding to it through the
lanes behind Bo – Peep .