All Saints Chapel
22 Darley Rd,
An exquisite Grade II listed building available to hire for weddings, concerts, recitals, conferences and many other special occasions.
The chapel, which was opened in 1874, formed part of All Saints Convalescent Hospital designed in the gothic revival style by Henry Woodyer in 1869. The hospital was taken over by the NHS in the late fifties, finally closing in 2004.
In 2007 the site was bought by a major property developer and plans were drawn up to convert the old hospital buildings into luxury apartments. In the same year, Eastbourne resident Mark Bird bought the chapel from the developers.
‘When I moved from London to Eastbourne in 1989 I was determined to find somewhere to live which was close to the sea and the Downs. I was delighted to discover Meads and became a great admirer of All Saints and its chapel.’
While the exterior of the building is pleasing enough, nothing quite prepares you for your first sight of the interior. The word ‘breath-taking’ is perhaps overused today but in this case, the beauty of the place does just that – it takes your breath away.
‘It took three years to get a licence for the chapel to be used as a wedding venue and now it is among the most popular in the UK. In fact, more people have seen the interior of the chapel since we re-opened it in 2010 than in the previous thirty years put together.
‘Although weddings are our main focus we host conferences, private lunch and dinner parties and concerts too. We also offer it to various charities which we see as our contribution to the community.
‘Having had the opportunity to buy the chapel has meant a great deal to me but I consider myself only as its caretaker. It is a privilege to look after the building but, more importantly, to ensure that its beauty is enjoyed and appreciated by as many people as possible.’