Celebrating the 250th birthday of town’s founder

James Burton, founder of St Leonards
James Burton, founder of St Leonards

THE Burtons’ St Leonards Society is this year celebrating the 250th anniversary of the birth of the town’s founder.

There is to be a year-long programme of events to mark the achievements of James Burton, renowned builder, who began work on the town in 1828.

Bernard McGinley, of the Burtons’ St Leonards Society, is hopeful that the events of the anniversary year will provide opportunities for people to learn more about the town’s founder.

“This is an occasion to remind people about James Burton. I think that he has been neglected somewhat by the town, and he is deserving of attention”, he said.

James Burton, who lived from 1761 to 1837, is regarded as a central figure in Georgian urban development well-known for his work on large areas of Bloomsbury, St John’s Wood, and Clapham Common, and the houses around Regent’s Park in London, as well as for planning and founding St Leonards.

The programme of events, open to all, is set to include talks, exhibitions and a lecture series, and will culminate in a ball at the Royal Victoria Hotel, St Leonards on July 28, 2012. This was chosen as the location for the grand finale, as James Burton himself once hosted a ball at the hotel.

The programme will be launched with a Georgian tea at South Lodge, St Leonards Gardens, next Friday (July 29). This event is open to members of the Burtons’ St Leonards Society, and tickets are £8. For more information contact the Burtons’ St Leonards Society on 01424 421207 or email burtonstleonardsoc@gmail.com.