Bexhill or Bexhill-on-Sea is a seaside town and civil parish situated in the county of East Sussex in South East England. An ancient town and part of the local government district of Rother, Bexhill is home to a number of archaeological sites, a Manor House in the Old Town, an abundance of Edwardian and Victorian architecture, and the famous De La Warr Pavilion: today a centre for contemporary art – which has featured the work of Andy Warhol, Cerith Wyn Evans and Richard Wilson amongst others – and an auditorium, where Bob Marley had his first UK appearance and has since seen performances by Elvis Costello, Goldfrapp, Ray Davies, Years & Years, Patti Smith and Laurie Anderson. Bexhill is on the A259 road which forms the coast road between Folkestone and Brighton.
Reginald Sackville, seventh Earl De La Warr, decided to transform what was then a village on a hill around its church into an exclusive seaside resort, which he named Bexhill-on-Sea. He was instrumental in building a sea wall south of the village, and the road above it was then named De La Warr Parade. Large houses were built inland from there, and the new town began. In 1890, the luxurious Sackville Hotel was built.
Bexhill was the location for the first motor race in the United Kingdom, in May 1902. Signs at the town's outskirts have the text 'Birthplace of British Motor Racing' appended below the town's name. The Bexhill 100 Festival of Motoring, held on Bexhill's sea-front, celebrated this important milestone in motoring history from 1990 until 2002. This final festival commemorated the Centenary of the original "Races". During the life of the festival, in 1999, the organisers launched the Bexhill 100 Motoring Club, so although the Festival no longer exists, the club still exists, and their committee organises each year, the Bexhill 100 Motoring Club Classic Car Show held on August bank holiday Monday in the Polegrove, Bexhill.
The De La Warr Pavilion, brainchild of the ninth Earl De La Warr, opened in 1935 as one of the earliest examples of Modern architecture in a major British public building.
The town, like many other English seaside resorts, is now much more a settled community. Although there is a small entertainment area on the sea-front, it now has a large retired population, like much of the south coast. Efforts are being made to increase tourism in Bexhill, including annual events such as the 'Festival of the Sea' and, formerly, 'Roaring Twenties Day', each held during the summer.
Bexhill has a population of over 43,107 people. Bexhill also forms part of the wider Hastings metropolitan area which has a population of over 164,000 people.