the campanile

June 21, 2010

The Campanile is for sale and all were invited to an Open Day to view. Some parts had been renovated to a habitable standard of modern day taste but not necessarily in keeping with the original interior architecture or decoration. You can buy it with change of use (already granted) for a family home, seaside retreat or boutique hotel, if you wish.

The main drawback, which is obvious from the agents pic, on the left and also mine that follow, is that the side garden has received the most appalling infill – so awful that it can’t be photographed!  

The usual paraphernalia of wires, aerials and a very large stink pipe have been bolted on to this building of character.

Built in the mid 1800’s and owned later by Charles Verrey of Verrey’s restaurant, it received many famous writers and musical celebs as guests. He added the  Classical temple and the belvedere.  At the turn on the century, it was owned by Frank Frankfort Moore, and housed his collection of Italian works of art. St Leonards was at that time a much sort after spa. There are some very good buildings still well maintained along with those in disrepair that give a feeling of the town in its  heyday. Not quite Brighton but nevertheless, a well designed seaside town with good amenities. 

Moore was, apparently famous in the U.S too. He wrote about his collections and his friendships with novelists and those in the theatrical world.   Another cloudy, humid day . . . .

Please enter but beware . .

  . . . the hall is marble . . .

 . . below is  Moore in the hall . . quotable lines:  ‘. . . everyone should encourage a love of art and good craftsmanship . .’ and ‘ . . the only drawback to Hastings is that there are too many writers living here . .’. Competition!  

 . . the necessity of frosted glass in the window on the main stair . . . presumably once there was a fitting garden to the east . .


 . . there was a good deal of interest on Sunday, couples, families and pets had look round . . .

 . . the details on the stairs have a charm . . also interesting to see glimpses of the panelling, Victorian tiling in a bathroom and new decor  . .


. . the Gothic library, above, and the staircase have to be retained within the listing. Apparently there are fireplaces and marble pilasters to be reinstated and it is thought that some ceiling and wall panels are in the V+A.

 . . the views out are mixed now – quite different to when Francis Fowler designed the house  and John Kenwood, one of James Burton’s craftsman,  built it . . .  view from the belvedere below . . . hopefully a purchaser will do the building  justice  . . .

. . walking back through Warrior Square, the normal Sunday activities were happening, the elderly reminiscing and the young being active. Note the poor infill here too!

When I was dead, my spirit turned
To seek the much-frequented house:
I passed the door, and saw my friends
Feasting beneath green orange boughs;
From hand to hand they pushed the wine,
They sucked the pulp of plum and peach;
They sang, they jested, and they laughed,
For each was loved of each.

I listened to thier honest chat:
Said one: “To-morrow we shall be
Plod plod along the featureless sands,
And coasting miles and miles of sea.”
Said one: “Before the turn of tide
We will achieve the eyrie-seat.”
Said one: “To-morrow shall be like
To-day, but much more sweet.”

“To-morrow,” said they, strong with hope,
And dwelt upon the pleasant way:
“To-morrow,” cried they, one and all,
While no one spoke of yesterday.
Their life stood full at blessed noon;
I, only I, had passed away:
“To-morrow and to-day,” they cried;
I was of yesterday.

I shivered comfortless, but cast
No chill across the table-cloth;
I, all-forgotten, shivered, sad
To stay, and yet to part how loth:
I passed from the familiar room,
I who from love had passed away,
Like the remembrance of a guest
That tarrieth but a day.   At Home  Christina Rossetti








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