Eastbourne retro: Take a look back at the history of the Grand Hotel - in pictures

Take a look back at the history of the Grand Hotel in Eastbourne.

The hotel was built in 1875 by William Earp as a private residence for himself and his family – including his 13 children.

The family eventually decided to move from the magnificent home and felt it should be used as a hotel. However, the Duke of Devonshire, who owned the land, refused.

Mr Earp took his case to court and won – and The Grand was sold with permission to use it as a hotel.

Many famous faces have stayed at the hotel over the years – including Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin, Arthur Conan Doyle and Sir Ernest Shackleton. Claude Debussy even completed his symphony 'Le Mer' in Suite 200 in 1905.

The hotel became known for its association with music, with the BBC broadcasting the Grand Hotel Orchestra’s performances live from the Great Hall every Sunday evening from 1924 to 1939.

However, the Second World War saw the hotel shut down and become a military headquarters, likely due to Eastbourne being the most-bombed coastal town in the South-East.

The Grand has changed hands twice since then, and was acquired by Elite Hotels in 1998.

The hotel has since been restored to its ‘former glory’, while also being modernised to meet 21st century requirements, according to the Grand.

To this day, it is affectionately known as ‘The White Palace’.

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