The image above shows the Ecclesbourne Glen Coastguard Cottages and other tourist infrastructure that developed around them. The coastguard station itself closed in 1908, but occupation of the cottages continued until 1950. The station began as an anti smuggling watch house and 1818, as theÂ small valley where the Ecclesbourne stream meets the sea was a good place for smugglers to get their goods ashore.
This Pathe news video shows the last occupant of one of the cottages preparing to leave the property for the last time.Â The cliffs stretching from the Old Town to Fairlight are always at risk of erosion and landslides.Â These building were victims of that erosion.
Sixty years on and nature has reclaimed the area, erasing or hiding most evidence of the buildings. It seems strange now that such infrastructure was ever there. TheÂ East Hill itself has always had buildings upon, starting with the ancient fort, but more recently a golf hut, football changing rooms and a cricket pavilion. They have all gone now, and the East Hill and glenÂ is now clear of man-made structures.
That absence of structuresÂ has made the appearance of a buildingÂ within the boundaries of the Rocklands Holiday Park all the more jarring.Â The holiday park is clearly trying to make the most of its location give most ofÂ theÂ accommodation there views of the glen and the sea. That seems to be to the detriment of the glen itself. It’s been a few years since I last visited the glen, but I never remembered being able to see as much of the holiday park as you can now.
The new building, seen in the distance from the view above, seems innocuous enough. When I viewed the building close up however I could see why a group was set up to protestÂ against it. It ruinsÂ the scenery. The work of the protest group has led to the councilÂ rejecting retrospective planning permission for the building. Hopefully this will be another building that becomes a just a distant memory.
The two photosÂ used to create the image of Ecclesbourne Glen Coastguard CottagesÂ are below. The original image was found on this Flickr page.