Situated on the south coast of Sussex, between Brighton and Eastbourne, Rottingdean is a few minutes from Brighton, just over an hour from Gatwick Airport and 90 minutes from London by road. It is also easily accessible from France by ferry to Newhaven, Dover and Portsmouth.
For most of its history, Rottingdean was a farming community. However, from the late 18th century, it attracted leisure visitors wanting a genteel alternative to raffish Brighton, among them some names famous in English cultural life. In the late 19th century, some of the more notable people to make their home here were the painter Sir Edward Burne-Jones and his nephew, Rudyard Kipling. Kipling’s old house adjacent to Kipling Gardens is still standing, and the former house of the painter Sir William Nicholson is currently open to the public as a library and museum. When farming collapsed in the 1920s, much of the farmland became available for building, and the area increased significantly in population, especially in neighboring Saltdean. A large number of smallholdings also appeared in the detached part of the parish called Woodingdean.
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