Devonshire Club Vat

The Cavendish Hotel, Eastbourne?

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Devonshire Club Vat

The Devonshire Club today is still a popular meeting place for members and their guests. It is one of Eastbourne’s oldest private members clubs and was established in 1872 by a group of eminent Eastbourne residents and regular visitors as the”Devonshire Club, Eastbourne Ltd” by an issue of shares with the then Duke of Devonshire taking a substantial number and honouring them by becoming the first President of the Club. The share issue was so successful that they proceeded to build the club at the corner of Grand Parade and Burlington Place.

In a report in the Eastbourne Herald in July, 1873 the Duke expressed himself “in high approval of the arrangements and general character of the building” where the Devonshire Club met. The Club was officially opened on 6th August, 1873 with an entrance fee of 1 Guinea and a subscription of 3 Guineas (at today’s rates this would be equivalent to about £73 and £219 respectively – more than double todays fees.

The Cavendish Hotel which is at the corner of Grand Parade and Burlington Place was opened in 1873 at around the same time the Devonshire Club was formed. In the 1920’s the Devonshire Club Vat could have been located in the Reading Rooms and Library at the Cavendish Hotel (pictured above), as the club’s web site mentions “Today we have moved on from the Reading Rooms and Library and offer facilities more suited to the 2000’s” after a move to new premises in 1965. The current members of the Devonshire Club are unable to confirm they met at The Cavendish Hotel before moving to their current club premises.