Facts about Peacehaven
Peacehaven is a town and civil parish in the Lewes district of East Sussex, England. It is located above the chalk cliffs of the South Downs approximately six miles (9.7 km) east of Brighton city centre, on the A259 road. Its site coincides with the point where the Greenwich meridian crosses the English south coast. Peacehaven is next to Telscombe Cliffs, a later western extension to Peacehaven, which lies within a separate parish and has a separate town council.
A Bronze Age barrow (burial mound) lies very close to the cliff top, which has been under investigation by local societies. The barrow represents evidence of the occupation of Peacehaven at least 3,500 years ago. A 2007 excavation of the new Bovis Homes site to the west of Peacehaven Community School’s playing fields unearthed a large range of evidence for a prehistoric settlement throughout the Bronze and Iron Ages.
Peacehaven was established in 1916 by entrepreneur Charles Neville, who had purchased land in the parish of Piddinghoe; he then set up a company to develop the site (he also eventually built nearby towns Saltdean and parts of Rottingdean). He advertised it by setting up a competition in virtually every newspaper in England to name the development. The Daily Express later sued Neville over the competition, holding that it was a scam, since he was offering “free” plots of land in the town as runner-up prizes but issuing them only on the payment of a conveyancing fee. The name of the winners who chose the name ‘New Anzac-on-Sea’ (to commemorate the ANZAC’s involvement in the Battle of Gallipoli) were Mr West of Ilford Essex and Mr Kemp of Maidstone Kent. On 12 February 1917 Mr Neville changed the name to Peacehaven. The Express won the case, but the publicity brought the scheme to a large audience. The idea was then to sell plots of land cheaply for people to build on themselves. Initially the town was New Anzac-on-Sea but less than a year later in 1917 it was renamed Peacehaven.