Peacehaven never existed prior to 1916, although there was a small initial development a decade earlier. The Story goes that in 1915, Charles Neville saw an expanse of derelict land that to him was ripe for development. Within a year he had bought a number of acres of land in the Parish of Piddinghoe and set up a company to develop it. Mr Neville came from a showman family, his late father had been involved in exhibitions around the world. In addition Charles, who, born in Darlington, County Durham, had spent some time in both Canada and Australia learning how to deal in land.
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