Watch Tower, Beachy Head


Watch Tower kiosk

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The Watch Tower, once owned by the Duke of Devonshire, was rebuilt by Lloyds of London in 1896 as a signalling station. In 1904 the signalling work was transferred to the nearby coastguard cottages, and the Watch Tower found new use as a kiosk selling postcards under the proprietorship of S.J. Downer. Some of these cards were labelled "Published by The Watch Tower, Beachy Head" or "Published by S.J. Downer, Watch Tower, Beachy Head". The kiosk closed in 1939.

The Watch Tower sold cards featuring not only Beachy Head and the surrounding Downland but also the squat octagonal kiosk itself. Many of the cards were produced by national publishers, such as the R.A. P. Co. Ltd. of East London, and were probably sold at many retail outlets in the Eastbourne area. It is likely, however, that Downer commissioned some of the cards himself, particularly those that showed just the Watch Tower or bore a Watch Tower label. Cards posted at the kiosk received a special cachet.

Design: Lucid Design