Hampden Park, Eastbourne
St Mary's Church
Hampden Park shown within East Sussex
|OS grid reference|
|Shire county||East Sussex|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||South East Coast|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
Hampden Park is a suburb of Eastbourne. It is notable for its unique railway station, where local trains on the East Coastway Line stop twice, and is thought to be the busiest level crossing in the country. This station, now known as Hampden Park station, was once named 'Willingdon Halt'.
Hampden Park itself is a large pleasant space with a fair sized lake. There is a park cafe called Lakeside Cafe, a children's playground, outdoor tennis courts, playing fields and plenty of routes for joggers and strollers, as well as a large area of sports fields. The area is the home of Eastbourne Rugby Club and two bowls clubs are nearby. Its main inhabitants are the grey squirrel, and several species inhabit the lake, notably mallard ducks, Canada geese, mute swans, moorhen, herons, gulls and the rock pigeon.
Currently (April/June 2011) there is a large pond enhancement program being carried out on the Decoy Pond. This has been funded by Eastbourne Borough Council and a large grant obtained from the Big Lottery Fund by The Friends of the Hampdem Park.
Prior to 1901 the land now called Hampden Park was part of the Ratton Estate owned by Lord Willingdon. Ratton is mentioned in the Domesday survey of 1087 and for a long time the woodland and lake had been a decoy attracting wildfowl for the estate kitchens. By the end of the 19th century the lake had probably fallen into disuse. Lord Willingdon agreed to sell 78 acres (320,000 m2) to Eastbourne Corporation on condition that a new main road, Kings Drive, was built from Eastbourne to Willingdon. Hampden Park, named after Lord Willingdon’s grandfather, Viscount Hampden, was opened by Lord Rosebery on 12 August 1902 and was the first Corporation-owned park in Eastbourne.
St Mary's Church is the Anglican parish church of Hampden Park. Edward Maufe's Perpendicular Gothic Revival building of 1952–54 replaced a church of 1908 which had been destroyed by a bomb in 1940. It is a Grade II listed building.
- "Level crossing warnings at Hampden Park". Eastbourne Herald. Johnston Press Digital Publishing. 16 December 2009. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
- Hampden Park Guide 2007 PDF, Friends of The Hampden Park
- Allen, John (21 February 2011). "Eastbourne – St Mary, Hampden Park". Sussex Parish Churches (www.sussexparishchurches.org). Retrieved 25 September 2011.
- "Church of St Mary, Decoy Drive, Hampden Park, Eastbourne, East Sussex". The National Heritage List for England. English Heritage. 2011. Retrieved 25 September 2011.