Architect: Kenneth Dalgleish and Roger K Pullen

Marine Court
St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex

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Positioned on the 6th floor of the remarkable Grade II-listed Marine Court, this seafront flat has two bedrooms and panoramic views of the water. Designed by Kenneth Dalgleish and Roger K Pullen, the building was completed in 1938.

The south-facing apartment is arranged laterally to maximise the view and intake of light. The living space and master bedroom occupy the best position at the front, linked by a glazed winter garden, both with large sliding windows. There is a second bedroom, kitchen and family bathroom. The block is serviced by 24-hour porterage.

The flat has been simply restored by the current owners, preserving the best of the original features where possible. The building itself is undergoing a major external refurbishment now that its management has been taken over by the residents.

The first foundations of Marine Court were laid in 1936 and construction was completed in 1938. An early pioneer of steel-frame construction, the building is 14 storeys high and sits broadside to the seafront. Its form was overtly based on the Queen Mary, a transatlantic cruise ship which entered commercial service in 1936. The east end of Marine Court is shaped to imitate the curved, stacked bridge front of the Queen Mary; the eastern restaurant served to imitate the fo’c’sle deck of the ship.

St. Leonards-on-Sea, and neighbouring Hastings, is fast becoming a popular seaside town, partly due to its proximity to London, but also because of its beautiful Regency architecture. Developer-architect James Burton, and his son Decimus, developed the resort in the early 19th century, with echoes of London’s Marylebone and Belgravia where the Burtons had previously practised.

St. Leonards has a growing number of delicatessens, bars, pubs and restaurants, and has been a popular spot for 20th-century furniture shops and galleries for some years. The newly renovated Hastings Pier can be seen from the flat.

Direct train services from St. Leonards and Hastings reach London’s Charing Cross in approximately an hour and a half.

The service charge is paid bi-annually and is currently approx. £2,789.63 every 6 months.

Please note that all areas, measurements and distances given in these particulars are approximate and rounded. The text, photographs and floor plans are for general guidance only. The Modern House has not tested any services, appliances or specific fittings — prospective purchasers are advised to inspect the property themselves. All fixtures, fittings and furniture not specifically itemised within these particulars are deemed removable by the vendor.


History

Marine Court was constructed by South Coast Properties company between 1936 and 1938. On 30 November 1936 the foundation stone was laid by Robert Holland-Martin, Chairman of the Southern Railway. With 14 storeys and measuring 170 ft/49 metres in height, it was the tallest block of flats in the UK when it opened in 1938.

Marine Court was designed by architects Kenneth Dalgleish and Roger K Pullen with overt references to the Cunard White-Star Line Queen Mary, which had entered commercial transatlantic service in 1936. It was an early pioneer of steel-frame construction, like the earlier De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea.

The balconies of the south elevation imitate the promenade deck aboard the Queen Mary. The upper storeys are stepped in from those beneath, like the superstructure of a ship. The ground floor shop frontages were black and sit beneath a blue cantilevered roof, which appears to mimic the sea level. On a sunny day, residents could feel like they were enjoying a luxury cruise from the comfort of their own flat.

Marine Court was damaged at its eastern end by bombing during the Second World War and restoration of the building took place in 1949-1950. By the end of the 1990s the managing agents had declared themselves bankrupt and the building had fallen into a worsening state, with soaring service charges.

With the coming of the new millennium, a brave and determined group of residents decided to apply for enfranchisement, to take over the freehold, and succeeded. The building was awarded Grade-II listing status in 1999.


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