Sepia lithograph drawn by ‘Miss Nanny’ and printed by Chape & Lefevre, 99 Guildford Street, Russell Square, London.
Published for the Proprietor at 80 King’s Road, Brighton (this would be W H Mason).
The scene is commemorating an important moment in Seaford’s history. In order to protect the beach opposite the town from encroachment by the sea, it was decided to try to create a breakwater by blowing up part of Seaford Cliff. On 19 September 1850 a huge crowd gathered (with a special train bringing some spectators from London) to watch the explosion. It was estimated some 200,000 tons of chalk fell into the sea. Unfortunately most of it was quickly washed away by the winter storms. Marine protection eventually came when the Seaford Bay Estate Company built a sea wall in 1881.