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

2019 AGM

This year the society’s AGM will be held at South Lodge, Maze Hill, St. Leonards.

Sunday 24th November at 6pm followed by drinks and nibbles.

Talk: The wreck of the Amsterdam

March 31 2019 @ 4:00 pm. The Royal Victoria Hotel

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Visit to the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, Tuesday 30 April 2019

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A replica of the VOC Amsterdam in the Netherlands.


The Burtons’ St Leonards Society present:


A context for the concrete architecture of Sidney Little

A talk by Stephen Gray at the Royal Victoria Hotel

Sunday 28th October 2018 at 4 pm

(£2.50 members, £5 non-members, at the door)

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Future of the Harold & Edith Swan-Neck Statue

February 24 2019 @ 4:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Future of the Harold & Edith Swan-Neck Statue
– A Panel Discussion 

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

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.

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