The De La Warr Pavilion

The De La Warr Pavilion, in Bexhill-on-Sea on the SE coast of England, was probably the first Modernist Building to be built in the Art Deco style in the UK. It’s named after Herbrand Sackville 9th Earl De La Warr who launched an architectural competition in 1934 for a new public entertainments building for the town. It opened in 1935.


The Pavilion has had a chequered history. It served as a base for the Army during WW2, narrowly avoiding a direct hit by a German bomb. After the war it was managed by the local Council for many years but lack of funds resulted in the fabric of the building slowly deteriorating over the decades.

Eventually the building was rescued thanks to generous grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Arts Council in 2002. Plans were put in place for repairs and regeneration as a Contemporary Arts  Centre and the building opened in 2005, restored to is former glory.


The building hosts exhibitions, has a multi-purpose auditorium (film, theatre, live events) and a restaurant.

The building stands back from the beach and slightly above the Greensward in an imposing position in Bexhill. It has classic Art Deco lines and to one side of the frontage is an elegant canopy over an area planned for use as a Bandstand.

Turn to face the sea and you will for a moment imagine yourself in a foreign country – somewhere in the Mediterranean perhaps.

DSC_3890A pair of Gothic inspired Rotundas frame the view at either end of an elegant balustrade. On a beautiful summer’s day this is a magical view.


If you are in the area, make a visit to this building a priority, You won’t be disappointed.


About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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21 Responses to The De La Warr Pavilion

  1. rigmover says:

    looks like a nice place, great post, thanks Andy.

  2. Great building and wonderful images. I love the first image. ave you tried a B&W conversion on that one? I would be curious to see how that looks.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks for your comment Edith. No I haven’t tried a conversion on that. I will try it, but I often find that totally blue skies don’t work too well in black and white. If it does look any good I might post it.

  3. oneowner says:

    I love the way the red chairs on the balconies offset the rest of the building (and the photos). It shows a good color sense.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Ken. We had the perfect day for this visit which was actually 4 years ago. Red certainly stands out on a sunny day. It’s time we went down that away again

  4. ehpem says:

    What a fine building in a fantastic location. Especially considering it’s nearly 80 year old.

  5. Mark Summerfield says:

    Everyone has commented on the images of the pavilion but, personally, I think you saved the best image for last. I really like the perspective of the one rotunda viewed from inside the other.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks very much Mark. Strangely that last image is one that I had not used in any capacity until now, but when checking through the RAW files yesterday in preparation for the post, I finally processed it. I’m glad I did!

  6. Jim Nix says:

    wow, nicely done, great pics -thanks too for all the recent comments on my blog, trying to catch up after a week of holiday 🙂

  7. Fantastic set of images, Andy. That next to last shot is my fav of this group. Love that composition. 🙂

  8. I just love stories like this, ones with a happy ending. What a beautiful, beautiful facility Andy, and you’ve done a terrific job with your photography in this study. Top drawer, my good friend!

  9. theaterwiz says:

    Great series my friend, well done, I Like the last image

  10. janina says:

    The Pavilion is a lovely building, showing its clean lines, which I like. As to the rotundas, they’re in the Greco-Italian style. Lovely photos, andy!

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