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Beachy Head, Sussex

Historical Description

Beachy Head, a promontory on the coast of Sussex, at the end of the South Downs, 2¼ miles SSE of Eastbourne. Its summit has an altitude of 575 feet above sea-level, and commands a view from Hastings to the Isle of Wight, and across the channel to France. Its front and sea-skirts are precipitous, and pierced with caverns, the resort of multitudes of sea-fowl. Shipwrecks here and in the vicinity used to be frequent and dreadful, but have been less numerous since the erection of the Belle Toute Lighthouse in 1831. This stands on a projecting skirt of the promontory, and shows a revolving light, at the height of 285 feet above the sea, flashing every 2 minutes, and visible at the distance of 22 miles. On the 30 June, 1690, the combined English and Dutch fleets of fifty-six sail, under Lord Torrington, were defeated within sight of Beachy Head, by the French fleet of eighty-two sail, under thc Count dc Jourville. A winding carriage road, called the " Duke's Drive," having been constructed at the expense of the Duke of Devonshire, gives access to it. A coastguard station is posted on the Head.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


Online maps of Beachy Head are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Sussex newspapers online:

CountyEast Sussex