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MANOR HOUSE - Lime Park benefited by a large manor house, a stables, market garden, wells, and electricity from a generating station in the grounds - that also sold power to the nearby village of Herstmonceux.






Once upon a time, in the little village of Herstmonceux, there lived a very amenable German chap called the Baron Karl von Roemer, who, with his lovely wife Baroness von Roemer, had an exceptionally brilliant son called Charles, who was born in 1887 and died in 1963 at the age of eighty, after a very colorful career.


For political reasons, Charles changed his surname to 'de Roemer,' and dropped the 'von,' to as it were anglicize his family, after World War One.


That is not an unusual practice, indeed, the Royal Family have German blood in their veins, also changing name for political purposes. The name Saxe-Coburg-Gotha came into the British Royal Family in 1840 with the marriage of Queen Victoria to Prince Albert, son of Ernst, Duke of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha. Queen Victoria herself was the last monarch of the House of Hanover.

The House of Windsor as we know it today began in 1917 when the family changed its name from the German “Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.” Queen Elizabeth's grandfather, King George V, was the first Windsor monarch, and today's working royals are the descendants of King George and his wife, Queen Mary.


Charles William de Roemer was a gifted engineer and entrepreneur, benefiting from a solid base of operations and a substantial sum inherited from his father's estate. This enabled him to dabble in technology, including the construction of a Generating Station, and the building of aircraft for the Royal Air Force at the Crumbles, Eastbourne.


Charles attended Eton, then joined the Royal Flying Corps during World War One, becoming a pilot and Captain, rising to the rank of Major at the end of hostilities in 1918.


The Medal card of De Roemer, Charles William Corps: Royal Field Artillery 31st is held by The National Archives, Kew

Reference: WO 372/5/144637  Date: 1914-1920
Description: Medal card of De Roemer, Charles William

Charles was a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Field Artillery 31st Division, and a Captain in the Royal Flying Corps, where he became a Major.


He was instrumental in forming the Eastbourne Aviation Company (1911 to 1924), and pioneered the use of electricity in his own home, and for street lighting and power in the homes and businesses of Herstmonceux village. Major de Roemer installed a similar electricity generating station to that in Lime Park, at his aircraft factory based at the Crumbles. The Crumbles is now mostly a shopping mall and waterfront housing over-development - adding to climate change.


In preparation for World War Two, Charles was instrumental in the building of two bomb proof shelters. One in the Manor House cellar west wing, and one north of his electricity Generating Station, which was cut into a hillside.


Charles married Audrey Margaret Liddell, with whom he had four children: Benita, Martin, Anthony and Boyce, while living in Wimbledon, London. Presumably, with Audrey keeping a London residence running, while her husband commuted between Eastbourne and Herstmonceux, tending to his various enterprises.


At this time Lime Park was in one ownership, until Lady de Roemer passed away in 1951. We do not know if any of Major de Roemer's siblings had any children, and if they may be able to help us fill in any gaps in the generating history. If so, please contact Lime Park Heritage Trust, if you can help.



Major Charles W. de Roemer RAF



Major Charles W. de Roemer Royal Flying Corps 1914 - 1918











UNIQUE INDUSTRIAL ARCHAEOLOGY - Perhaps not the most attractive of buildings, as it has fallen into a state of disrepair - seen here being restored in 2014. This is mainly because Wealden District Council have done all they can to deny the building a reasonable and beneficial use, to pay for restorations, up to 2022. The Parish Council have been working with the district council on this. That is why the most important historic asset in Herstmonceux does not have an income for maintenance and general repairs. Conversely, the site, including other buildings in the Park, may one day qualify for listing as a UNESCO world heritage site. Think carefully about who you vote for at the next elections. Will they sell your heritage down the river. Or will they make the most of this landmark, and put Herstmonceux village on the map.





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