Marine Court II
St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex


Architect: Kenneth Dalgleish and Roger K Pullen

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This wonderfully bright seafront one-bedroom flat is positioned on the sixth floor of the remarkable Grade II-listed Marine Court. Designed by Kenneth Dalgleish and Roger K Pullen, the building was completed in 1938 and and is currently undergoing an extensive refurbishment.

The flat, a writer’s weekend retreat, retains a number of original features such as wardrobes, door handles, electric heaters in the living room and bedroom, a chrome towel rail in the bathroom and wood flooring in the kitchen.  The external renovation for this section of building has recently been completed.

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 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 practiced.

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.

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

Tenure: Leasehold with Share of Freehold
Length of Lease: Approx. 999 years
Service Charge: Approx. £5,200 per annum

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.


Marine Court was constructed by South Coast Properties company between 1936-1938. On 30 November 1936 the foundation stone was laid by Robert Holland-Martin, Chairman of the Southern Railway. With fourteen 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 stories 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. After a protracted series of court battles, they succeeded. The building was awarded Grade-II listing status in 1999.

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