In 1898 Mr Freeman-Thomas, the MP for Ratton, offered the Eastbourne Council 44 acres of wood and pasture around a decoy duck pond on the proviso the council constructed a road from Eastbourne to Willingdon. The final transaction involving a total of some 88 acres sold for £3,000; the council in turn spending £10,277 on the construction of the road now known as Kings Drive. The council then set about the creation of the first publicly owned park in Eastbourne for the purpose of sport and pleasure.
On 12th August 1902 Lord Roseberry opened Hampden Park which was named after Lord Willingdon’s grandfather Viscount Hampden.
Hampden Park Bowls Club was founded in 1912, and soon began reporting results of the matches in the local newspapers. However, the earliest recorded result was a match between the Mayor’s team and Eastbourne redoubt, held in the park in 1911. The Mayor's side lost by 24 points. Tea was taken on the green at the invitation of the Mayor. The first recorded match of Hampden Park Bowls Club was against Meads on the 28th October 1912, which we duly won 51 to 21. The first single representation of our club was a Mr Breech, who got through to the final of the Mayor’s championship at Saffrons on the 21 August, 1912. Sadly he lost.
Initially Hampden Park Bowls Club was exclusively male, however, in 1928 the ladies formed a separate club under the same roof. Sixty years later in 1988 the two clubs amalgamated to form the Hampden Park Bowling Association.
In the same year the association took over full responsibility for the green and premises from Eastbourne Borough Council. Today we are a vibrant and independent club controlling our own affairs, with a long term lease from the Borough.
To meet the growing demand a second green was added and the present pavilion was erected to replace the old clubhouse. We now have two well established greens, giving the capability of holding 12 rink matches or two separate 6 rink matches.