St Leonards was started in early 1826 on land owned by the Eversfields(an old local ironmaster family) originally used for farming. The land was bought by a London architect James Burton to build his idea of the ultimate up-market resort. He died in 1837 and his son Decimus continued to build St Leonards to the west
The first railway to the area arrived in 1846 and was built from Lewes to St Leonards. A second line opened in 1851 from Ashford via Rye toHastings across the Romney Marshes . Finally in 1852 the London to Hastings line via Battle was opened, this line together with a tunnel to St Leonards Warrior Square and then Hastingsprovided the current railway infrastructure.
Once the railway was in place and the tourists started flocking in, then the land between Hastings and St Leonards(all owned by the Eversfields) was sold to provide more properties.
On the sea front is the art-deco building known as Marine Court which was finished in 1937 resembling an ocean liner. At its time of construction it was the tallest block of flats in the United Kingdom, comprising of 153 flats and 3 restaurants