Peacehaven, The Garden City

Peacehaven, which is just east of Brighton, may not give the impression of being a sunshine resort or a ‘Garden City’ by the sea modelled on Utopian ideals, but that’s exactly what town planners envisioned over 100 years ago.

Initially, Peacehaven attracted adverse publicity and even local influential voices in the interwar period, such as Bloomsbury group’s Virginia and Leonard Woolf, criticising it as ‘a blot’ on the rolling, pastoral down land.

A newly published book, Fabricating Lureland, written by Principal Lecturer Julia Winckler from the University of Brighton, who has been a resident and visited the town since early childhood after her aunt moved there in the late 1960s, reassesses these early controversies.

Her book breaks new ground by presenting new archival and previously under explored marketing material alongside blueprints, photographs and guidebooks; and constructs a history of the imagination and memory of the town, drawing on interviews she made with long term residents, several of whom are from the first generation of children to have grown up in Peacehaven.

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