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Hastings Town Centre History

Albert Memorial

The Albert Memorial clocktower was commissioned by the Hastings Corporation at a cost of £860. The site chosen was where Victoria and Albert (then Prince and Princess of Wales) were...

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Albert Memorial History

Alexandra Park

Spanning more than 100 acres, the park began life as a humble plant nursery during the 1850’s. By 1859 it fell under the control of the Hastings Corporation, who made it their aim to turn the area...

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Alexandra Park History

America Ground

A no-mans land created by great storms in the 13th Century became a tax free community of ramshackled homes and businesses on a shingle bank...

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America Ground

Arthur Green Shop

Situated at No.34 White Rock, Arthur Green & Company hatters and hosiers has been there since 1904. Despite several changes of ownership the business continues to trade under the same name to this day.


Beach Terrace

Subject to much battering from the weather and flooding, Beach Terrace was demolished to make way for Parade and road improvements in the 1830s.


Beau Site Convalescent Home

This prominent building at White Rock Gardens was originally owned by the Brisco family. In 1882 the building was given free of charge to the Governers of the nearby Infirmary (Hastings, St Leonards and...

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Beau Site Convalescent Home

Bedford Arms / Bedford Hotel

Once standing on the corner at 37 Queens Road. The Bedford public house also went by the names of the Bedford Arms and the Bedford Hotel at various stages during its life...

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Bedford Arms / Bedford Hotel

Brassey Institute / Hastings Library

Situated in Claremont, The Brassey Institute is a lovely example of decorative Venetian Gothic architecture. Designed by Walter Liberty Vernon for Thomas Brassey during his period as an MP for...

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Brassey Institute / Hastings Library

Breeds Place

A Georgian terrace built by James Landsell in 1829 once stood where the Job Centre now resides in Breeds Place, at the bottom of which was Mastin’s, a well known local store...

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Breeds Place

Bourne Street Theatre

Opened in August 1825 and proved to be initially popular, however this theatre only lasted eight years before being converted into a chapel.


Carlisle Parade

This was originally a very narrow part of Hastings promenade which the seafront road did not follow. There was a cul-de-sac at the Queens Hotel which meant that traffic passing through the...

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Carlisle Parade

Carlisle Parade Underground Car Park

Built by Sidney little as part of the parade extension and officially opened in 1931 by Sir Hilton Young who was Minister for Health at the time...

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Underground Car Park

Carlisle Public House / Pelham Arms

The Carlisle pub was originally called The Pelham Arms and was built in around 1820 by a Richerd Chandler. Constructed on the site of a former tannery in the area known as the America Ground.

The Carlisle was licensed as a live music venue in 1840 and remains very popular as such to this day.

In 1892 the Pelham Arms was renamed the Carlisle Hotel. Ironically the pub and Carlisle Parade are named after the Crown agent who had evicted the enhabitants of the America Ground in 1835.

Between the two world wars the pub became increasingly popular and by 1933 it had gained a popular roof terrace. The pub was extensively refurbished in the late 1930's to include a function room which could cater for larger social occassions and a dancefloor.

The venue became popular for snooker, billiards and darts tournaments and held quite a few events including the first ladies snooker tournament in Hastings.

The pub was closed duting the second world war and remained so until 1945.

In the 1960's the function room was named The Ocean Bar and the Carlisle attracted many cultures which included teds and rockers. Greasers and Hell's Angels followed in the 1980's and the pub became a popular venue for bikers from far afield.

During the late 1980's and early 1990's the pub suffered bad publicity and the future was under threat from Hastings Council who owned the freehold of the building. Ater some very strong petitions and protests to keep the venue alive the idea of closure was thrown out in 1994.

May Day is very big in Hastings with bikers visiting by their thousands from all over the country. This coincides with Jack-in-the-Green, a very popular local festival, also attracting many visitors from out of town. The carlisle is at the centre of the day's activities.


Castle Hotel

The Castle Hotel stood on the left at the entrance to Wellington Square from the seafront and was built in 1817. The elegant hotel was demolished 1966 to make way for a supermarket. Poundstreacher now occupies the supermarket building.


Claremont

Claremont forms part of the Trinity Triangle that includes Holy Trinity Church and The Brassey Institute (now used as the public library).


Castledown Avenue

This road was cut through from Wellington Road to Castle Hill Road in the early 1900s.


Castledown House

This was the home of Rev. William Wallinger, the first Curate of St Mary-in-the-Castle. The building continued use as a single residence until the 1900s when it laid empty for some years. Castledown House was eventually converted into flats.


Central Cricket Ground

The Hastings Cricket Club was founded in 1840. The Central Cricket Ground was opened in 1864 and became one of the longest established cricket grounds in the country. The land was once part of the old Priory Farm, and purchased from the Cornwallis Estate for £5,000.


Central Methodist Church

Built in 1857, the Central Methodist Church occupied a key site in Cambridge Road. The church design was by WW Pollock and the building cost £8,000. The foundation stone was laid by Lady Brassey.

The Church was disused since 1974 and finally demolished in 1980.


Denmark Place

Denmark Place has always been a popular part of the seafront, situated near the Queens Hotel. This was particularly true in the early 1900’s with large pleasure yachts landing on the beach here and offering trips for tourists.

Two of the largest beach launched pleasure yachts were built in Hastings. The New Albertine operated from the beach at Denmark Place and the other worked at Eastbourne. Much like the fishing boats in the Old Town, the pleasure boats were wound up the beach by horse winches called capstans.


Earl Street Electricity Station

Hastings Council’s electricity station was situated in Earl Street and built in 1882. When it eventually came to the end of its life it was replaced with a much bigger station that was built at Broomgrove in 1926.


Emmanuel Church

Occupying a prominent place in Hastings' townscape on the West Hill, Emmanuel Church was erected in 1873-4 and designed by local architects AW Jeffery & Skiller.

The church narrowly missed destruction in 1942 when the adjacent Vicarage was bombed causing the tragic death of the infant daughter of the Reverent J Battersby.


FJ Parsons / Observer Printworks

The Observer printworks was built in Claremont in 1878, next to the Brassey Institute (now Public Library) which was also built the same year.


Gaiety Theatre

Designed by Cross & Wells and opened as a private venture by George Gaze in August 1882. Gaze remained in charge until his death in 1904.

The Gaiety was converted into a cinema in 1932 and remains as such to this day. Currently the Odeon Cinema.


Gas Offices

Built in 1878, the Gas Offices were situated in Queens Road adjacent to St Andrew's Church. The building provided a great example of Victorian cream and red brickwork and sported a tall central tower.


Gas Works

The Hastings & St Leonards Gas Company operated from the gas works in Queens Road from 1832. Manufacture of gas continued here until 1907 when the works was transferred to Glyne Gap. Morrisons supermarket now occupies the site.


Grand Hotel / Varulam Hotel

Originally built as the Grand Hotel opposite Hastings Pier but soon renamed the Varulam Hotel. It was poorly built and fell into disrepair. Varulam Place was demolished to make way for Waverly Court in 1989.


Guinness Clock

Guinness made several promotional clocks following the success of the original at the Festival of Britain in 1951/2. The Hastings Guinness Clock was situated on the seafront, opposite the entrance to Robertson Street. The clock soon became fascinating for young and old, featuring music and many moving parts. A rotating sun, bell ringing man, fisherman catching fish from a pond, puppets and monkeys. As a finale the doors would open beneath the clock face to reveal the Guinness Tree and a parade by the famous Guinness Toucans.


Hastings Castle

After the battle of Hastings in 1066, William ordered the construction of a wooden fortress, the forerunner of the longer lasting stone building. The ruins of which dominate the town today.

Hastings Castle itself was built in about 1070 by Robert Count d'Eu. The collegiate church of St Mary was added some 20 years later and a keep and other buildings were erected by Henry II at the end of the 12th Century.

During the reign of Henry II, Thomas Becket was Dean of the chapel inside the castle. Both this original chapel and the later Collegiate Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary are now just a ruin.

Numerous English kings stayed frequently at the castle on their visits to Hastings. Notably William Rufus held court here in front of his army while waiting for the chance to slip accross the channel to normandy. 1201 saw King John declare the English to be "Masters of the Sea" whilst he was at the castle.

In 1591 the castle site was acquired by the Pelham family. The family owned Hastings Castle from the 17th Century until the Hastings Corporation bought it in 1949.

Because of sea erosion half the original site has now vanished leaving only the North and East curtain walls together with a reconstructed arch from the church and some other fragments.


Hastings Grammar School

Originally formed from two educational charities (Parker's and Saunder's) which were ordered to be administered as the Hastings grammar school foundation as of 1878. At first the schooling was conducted from a small building in Bourne Walk, this was moved in 1880 as more space was needed. Bank's schoolroom at the top of Stonefield Road was used while the new purpose built grammar school buildings were erected. These were opened on the 4th July 1883.


Hastings Museum

The museum was originally housed in the Brassey Institute building in Claremont (now home to the library). The museum collections were transferred to the present Hastings Museum at John's Place, Cambridge Road in 1928.

The John's Place building is in a Tudor style and was originally erected in 1925 as a private house. An extension was added in 1931-2 to provide accommodation for the Brassey Collection which became the Durbar Hall.


Hastings Pier

Hastings pier marks the seafront boundry between Hastings and St Leonards.

Construction began in December 1869 and was officially opened on August 5th 1872 by Earl Granville (Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports), this was Britains first ever Bank Holiday.

Hastings Pier was constructed by R Laidlaw of Glasgow in 1869-72, to a design by Eugenius Birch. The pier cost £22,250 to build and was originally modelled on Brighton West Pier but with the addition of an eastern pavilion that seated 2,000 poeple. The pier was 910ft (275m) long and varied in width from 45ft (13.6m) to 190ft (57.5m).

The Eastern style pavilion was enlarged and re-roofed in February 1899 and in 1912 the kiosks were removed from the shore end prior to a complete remodelling of the entrance area.

Desaster struck in July 1917 and the pavilion was destroyed by fire. A replacment structure came in 1922 with a less elaborate ballroom style structure at the end of the pier.

The Art Deco facade and minarets at the shoreward end were added during the 1940’s. Dobell Bros, a local watchmaker and jewellers in Robertson Street, commissioned the clock that still resides in the Art Deco style entrance.

The 1940's to 70's are often percieved as the high point of the piers' history with dancing every night, daytime concerts, stunt driving and speedboat trips to the harbour and back.

A Paddle steamer used to depart from the end of the pier with trips to Eastbourne, Rye Bay and even Boulogne.

During the Second World War the pier was sectioned to prevent German invasion. Despite some bomb damage the pier was re-opened in 1946.

In 1966 the Triadome was erected on the first part of the pier to house the Hastings Embroidery, which consisted of 27 panels of embroidery depicting the history of Hastings between 1066 and 1966. The Triadome was later used as an aquarium and then for an amusement arcade but was eventually removed.

Queen Elizabeth opened the Triadome in 1966 to commemorate the 900th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings and Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, opened the Hastings Embroidery on 25th May of the same year.

In the 1960's and 70's Hastings Pier became a magnet for top rock and pop bands of the time.

During the 80's and 90's popularity reduced and the pier ownership changed hands several times, struggling to be financially viable. An application for Millennium funding was refused in 1996 to worsten the situation.

The owners in 1996 went out of business and the pier was subsequently closed to the public. This remained the case until new owners re-opened in May 2001 with a re-vamp of the main walk-through to boot.

In June 2006 the pier was declared unsafe by Hastings Council due to damaged supports and a fear that too many people on the deck could prove dangerous.

In October 2010 the pier suffered a huge fire which tore through 95% of its upper structure. Believed to be arson, two teenagers were said to have been caught jumping from the structure. To the dismay of many locals the two were never prosecuted despite the courts proving they were not only present at the time the fire started, but also that the fire was started by "a human act".


Havelock Public House

This building originally included the premises on the corner which was used as hotel accommodation (now Andrews Estate Agents).


Havelock Road

This road was built soon after Hastings Station was opened in 1852 as a main access road. The hill was actually man made from the spoils created when digging the railway tunnel. Havelock Road was named after a General Havelock, a hero of the Indian Mutiny.


Hermitage Home

The original Hermitage Home in Holmesdale Gardens was replaced in 1975 by a block of 40 one bedroom flats for the elderly, these were also named the Hermitage.


Marine Palace of Varieties /
Royal Cinema de Luxe / Deluxe Leisure Centre

Designed by Ernest Runtz and built to replace a large section of the the East side of Pelham Place after its demolition in 1898-99.

The Marine Palace of Varieties was believed to be the first theatre in the country with a cantilever balcony so as not to need pillars that would block the audience's view.

The building later became the Royal Cinema de Luxe, and the balcony survived until the late 1960s when the cinema was converted into today’s leisure complex. The upper part of the building was converted into a Bingo Club and much of the attractive Neo-Baroque interior was altered.


Holy Trinity Church

The church was built in 1857 by a noted Victorian architect, Samuel Sanders Teulon. It is a fine example of Gothic Revival architecture of the Middle Pointed or Decorated period (1812-72) on land reclaimed from the sea, known at that time as the America Ground.

The site allocated for the building of the Church was oddly shaped and called for all Teulon’s ingenuity and skill. By designing the Church with only one aisle, he was able to produce a longer and loftier nave, (93' x 62') and by placing the buttresses in the interior of the nave instead of outside, he has created a much greater sense of space in the building.

The dedication of the Church to the Most Holy Trinity commemorates the old Priory of the same name which was founded nearby in the 12th Century by Sir Walter Bricet. The Priory was situated where the multi-storey car park now stands in Priory Street.

The Church was opened for worship on Michaelmas Day 1858 which is kept as the Church’s Patronal Festival and maintains a connection with the ancient Church of St Michael which once stood near White Rock. St. Michael is also the patron saint of Hastings and appears on the Borough Seal.

Holy Trinity was fortunate in having Dr. Theodore Crosse as its first Vicar and Samuel Saunders Teulon as its architect, both of whom were men committed to the highest standards of church design and decoration. Together with the leading architects of the day, they showed particular concern with the stained glass used in the service of the Church.The glass in Holy Trinity was made by two of the greatest 19th century stained glass designers and manufacturers, Messrs Clayton and Bell, and Charles Eamer Kempe.

Symbols of the church's dedication to the Holy Trinity can be seen throughout the building with many of the features being grouped into threes. Trefoils, triquetras, triangles and interlocking circles.

The door at the base of the tower in Robertson Street was designed to be the main entrance and is surrounded by the symbol of the Holy Trinity. The main entrance was changed to the door in Trinity Street.

The space provided in the nave is suprisingly spacious due to the internal butress design and strong pillars. The roof is constructed in hammer-beamed style which is finely carved and features a single and double trefoil at each end of the arch.


Lower Park Road / Upper Park Road

Both Lower and Upper Park Road were built in 1877.


Lewis Hyland & Co

A prominent Queens Road shop that opened in 1888, Lewis Hyland & Co outfitters was a branch of a business originally established by Mr Lewis at Ashford in Kent, in 1820.


Model Village

The Hastings Model Village took three years to build and opened on 19th February 1955. Designed by Stanley Deboo, it featured models of classic Sussex houses including oast-houses and timber-framed houses.

Sadly the Model Village was forced to close in December 1998 after vandalism caused £5,000 worth of damage. It was replaced by a miniature golf course built by Chris Richards.

The model village was replaced by a lazer maze style gaming centre in 2011, but still some of the original model village foundations remain at the site to this day.


Palace Hotel / Palace Chambers

The first portion of the Palace Hotel was built in 1885 and replaced the White Rock Brewery which was demolished the previous year.

The building was designed by Arthur Wells in a flamboyant classical free style.

The second portion (to the East) was built in 1886 and replaced the Seaside & Pier Hotel that was previously next door.

The building is now known as Palace Chambers.


Pelham Crescent

Some of the seafront and with the Church of St Mary-in-the-Castle standing in the middle.

Pelham Crescent and St Mary in the Castle were designed by Joseph Kay in 1824-28, with the support of the 1st Earl of Chichester. A large section of the castle cliff was excavated prior to construction of this fine piece of regency architecture.

The shops that stand in front of Pelham Crescent were originally designed as an arcade with unique wine cellars beneath. Pelham Arcade was part of Joseph Kay's original design for the Crescent and for many years was a fashionable destination for visitors to Hastings, providing music, refreshments and a bazaar.

Demolition of much of the original East side of Pelham Place occurred in 1898/9 to make way for the Marine Palace of Varieties.

A large (32 pounder) Russian Gun, described as a "Crimean Trophy" was on show on the seafront opposite Pelham Place for many years. It was eventually moved to the museum grounds at John's Place and dismantled for scrap during the war in 1939-45.


Pelham Hall Cinema

Pelham Hall was once advertised as "the towns prettiest and most comfortable bijou picture house" and went through many transformations, including Pelham Hall Electric Theatre and Pelham Palacette.


Plaza Cinema

What is now Yates' Wine Lodge was once a Cinema called the Plaza. The cinema was hit by a bomb on the 30th September 1940 causing significant damage to the building and 14 deaths. This is remembered as one of the most tragic incidents of 1940.


Plummers / Debenhams

The Plummers store in Robertson Street was rebuilt in the early 1920 and is now Debenhams department store.


Post Office

The original post office was in Queens Road and moved to Cambridge Road in 1930 where it now adjoins Hastings Railway Station and sorting office. The original Queens Road site was taken over by Ward’s outfitters and opened in 1933.


Prince Albert Memorial Clocktower

Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, died on 14 December 1861 and a meeting of subscribers decided to build a memorial to him in the form of a Gothic clock tower on 10th March 1862. Prince Albert’s statue arrived from Liverpool on 3rd July 1863. The memorial was completed when the clock arrived on 10th June 1864 from Messrs Thwaites & Reed of Clerkenwell. The clock tower was demolished in the 1970’s due to continued vandalism but the area where it stood is still known to local people as “The Memorial”


Priory Meadow Cricket Ground

Priory Meadow was first suggested as a cricket ground in 1863, it was levelled and drained in April 1864. The ditch was filled up and the stream diverted at a cost of £500. The tenants of Priory Farm received notice to quit so that the land could be sold for building in 1865. The cricket ground was often used for other sporting events such as tennis and the start of the marathon. Over the years, many famous cricketers played here, Don Bradman, Dennis Compton and Jack Hobbs to name but a few. The last county cricket match was played in 1989 prior to development into the Shopping Centre which stands on the grounds today.


Public Hall Cinema

What was once the Public Hall Cinema has more recently been The Crypt nightclub


Queens Hotel

The prominent Queens Hotel on Hastings seafront was opened in December 1862 on part of the site of the America Ground. The hotel was designed by FH Fowler in a modest Italianate style and proved to be well appreciated by aristocratic visitors.

Originally the building had two cupolas on the roof of the Eastern side, but these no longer grace the building. The hotel also had a much larger forecourt to the front, but this was much reduced to make way for seafront widening.

The Queens Hotel was badly damaged during the 1987 hurricane and was subsequently closed. Remaining derelict for many years and passing through several owners, the future of the building was doubtful.

Now restored, the building has been developed into luxury flats called Queens Apartments.


Queens Road

Originally named Meadow Road after the Priory Meadow Cricket Ground that stood alongside. Renamed Queens Road in 1876.


Ritz Cinema

The building now used as the ESK Warehouse in Cambridge Road was originally the Ritz Cinema, owned by Union Cinemas.

Unfortunately before building was completed Union went bankrupt and ownership was transferred to Associated British Cinemas or ABC as they are better known.

The Wurlitzer organ was a special feature of the Ritz and played every Saturday morning at the ABC Minors Club, which ran for 25 years.


Robertson Street

Built by Patrick Robertson, the Conservative Member of Parliament, who was responsible for the development of this very elegant area in the early 1850’s.

Originally built as a residential terrace, Robertson Street was gradually converted into a row of shops during its first 30 years.

What is now the United Reformed Church was enlarged in 1885 and originally called Robertson Street Congregational Church.


Robertson Terrace

Robertson Terrace is the row of houses that now includes Debenhams overlooking Carlisle Parade to the sea. It has a Lion and a Unicorn statue at either end, said to have been acquired by Patrick Robertson from Buckingham Palace at the time he built the street in the 1850's.


Royal Marine Hotel

This once well known hotel was situated to the East of Pelham Place and was demolished in the late 1890s to make way for the Palace of Varieties (later the Cinema de Luxe and eventually the Deluxe Amusement Centre).


Sandringham Hotel / Hastings Old Bank

Situated at No.9 Pelham Place, this was originally the premises of the Hastings Old Bank.

Seaside Hotel / Seaside & Pier Hotel

Dating back to 1835, the Seaside Hotel was situated at White Rock was renamed the Seaside & Pier Hotel in 1881. The building was demolished In 1886 to make way for an extension to the Palace Hotel next door.


St Andrews Arch

A low brick built tunnel known as St Andrews Arch at the top of Queens Road originally carried the railway line Eastward towards Ore.

This effectively marked the town boundary when it was built and there was little development beyond this point at the time.

The tunnel became dangerous over the years due to sinking and was also restrictive to traffic passing underneath due to its small openings.

Today's iron railway bridge with its massive fluted columns was built in 1898 to replace St Andrews Arch.


St Andrews Church

St Andrew's Church in Queens Road was designed by Habershon & Brock in 1869 and built on a site that was donated by Misses Sayer of Hastings. Opened as an evangelical church in 1870. The first vicar was George Hodges, previously of Christ Church Ore.

An additional aisle was added in 1873 to accommodate an ever growing congregation.

The Chancel of the church was decorated with a large mural by Robert Tressell in 1905. In 1966 the chancel walls were attacked by vandals and subsequently over-painted.

Demolition of the church began in August 1970. It had become dangerous and a group of people trying to save the Robert Tressell mural were threatened with eviction for being uninsured.

Only one panel of the mural was saved and it is now on show at the Hastings Museum along with other mementoes of Robert Tressell.but much of the design was rescued in fragments during the church's demolition in 1970.


St Helens Road

The lower part of St Helens Road was built in 1873. The rest was completed in 1929 by Sidney Little and now connected the town directly with the A21 main road to London and Sedlescombe Road North leading to Silverhill. The new construction included the building of the bridge over Old Roar Gill.


St Mary in the Castle

The centre point of Pelham Crescent, St Mary in the Castle was built between 1824 and 1828 to a design by Joseph Kay. Last used as a church in 1970, the building became derelict soon after until the Friends of St Mary in the Castle saved the building from the threat of demolition. It was lovingly restored and re-opened as an arts centre.

The interior of St Mary in the Castle has a large auditorium with seating for 500 people and a huge domed roof. Other features of the church included a natural spring which rises up inside, an emersion font and catacombs.


St Michaels Place

Situated on top of the hill behind Palace Chambers (previously the Palace Hotel), St Michael's Place was home to the town's secondary Coastguard station until the 1890's.


Summerfields Estate
Bohemia House / Summerfields School

This large area of land was originally Bohemia Farm which is where the Bohemia area gets its name from. In 1817 the farm was taken over and demolished. This made way for Bohemia House, which was constucted in 1824.

In 1831 the estate was purchased by Wastel Brisco for £8,500 and remained with Brisco family until 1901.

In 1903 a Boys Prep School was started utilising both the house and grounds which were renamed Summer Fields. The building was extended at this point in a South East direction.

Both the home and lands were sold at auction in 1920.

During the war the house was used as the Town Hall but was returned to a school after the war ended.

The school was closed in 1966 and the furniture and fittings were sold off. The house and grounds were purchased by Hastings Borough Council for £170,000 and during 1970/71 the new police, ambulance and fire stations were using some of the land. In 1972 Bohemia House was demolished.


Town Hall

Opened by the mayor, WF Revill in September 1881, this celebrated building has an authentic gothic splendour that can rarely be found in a town centre. Its staircase has clusters of scagliola marble columns and stained glass windows depicting the Coats of Arms of countless Kings and Queens.

The southern chimney place is fashioned with Bath stone with a carved statue of St Michael (patron saint of Hastings) and large painted tiles of Kings William and Harold. The stained glass windows bear the shields of the Earls of Sussex, See of Chichester and Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex.


U118 German U-Boat

An empty German submarine was washed ashore on the beach in front of Denmark Place in 1919. The submarine U118 had broken its towrope on the way from Cherbourg to Scapa Flow. U118 was an extremely large submarine for its time and had surrendered to France on 23rd February 1919.

It was welcomed as an unusual Easter attraction until a build-up of chlorine gas poisoned a group of coastguards, one of whom died on 21 February 1920. The U-Boat was eventually broken up at Brest during July 1921.

U118 Hastings Beach

White Rock

The actual White Rock formerly stood just West of Priory Valley. The Rock increasingly became an obstacle to development of the town along the coast in the early 19th Century and was removed during 1834-5.

This stretch of the seafront was previously named Stratford Place and Precursor Place before, becoming White Rock Place in 1881.

The area had a brewery that was built in 1831, bu this was demolished to make way for the Palace Hotel which was built in 1885.

The White Rock Hotel was named the Yelton Hotel until 2005, the family name of its original owner, Mr F.J. Notley, spelt backwards.

An infirmary once stood where the Spanish Colonial style White Rock Theatre is today.

Marriot's photographic shop opened in 1910 and still remains as such today.


White Rock Baths

Originally opened in 1874 when the promenade was only 10 feet wide, the roof of the underground public baths formed part of the parade extension. There were two baths, and the bath furthest from the pier was originally intended as an aquarium but due to lack of funds it was opened as a small bath for ladies. It possessed steps down into the bath rather than the usual side steps and was popular amongst younger swimmers. The Hastings water polo team played their matches in the larger pool. Both pools were of salt water. White Rock Baths was transformed into The Baths Cinema during 1912 and opened in 1913 with seating for over 1,600 people.


White Rock Underground Car Park

The underground car park opposite White rock pavilion was built by Sidney Little as part of the parade extension and was opened in June 1936 by the Minister of Transport, Mr L Hore-Belisha.


White Rock Bowls Pavilion

The pavilion was built in 1926 at a cost of £8,000.


White Rock Infirmary / Hastings, St Leonards & East Sussex Hospital

The original infirmary on the sea front at White Rock was erected in 1841 and enlarged two years later. In 1887 the building was replaced by the red brick Hastings, St Leonards & East Sussex Hospital.

This building was noted for its circular wards which were at the time thought to be a superior design.

A three day bazaar was held at Warrior Square in April 1913. Opened by HRH The Duchess of Albany, this event raised money for the Hospital Removal Fund that was set up to help with the relocation of the hospital.

The hospital eventually relocated to Cambridge Road later in 1913 and was renamed the Royal East Sussex Hospital (locally known as the RESH).

The old building at White Rock was then demolished and the site was later used for the White Rock Pavilion (now named White Rock Theatre).


White Rock Pavilion / Theatre

Built on the site of the Hastings, St Leonards & Sussex Hospital, the White Rock Pavilion was opened in April 1927 by the Prince of Wales (who later became Edward VIII).

The building is designed in an attractive Spanish Colonial style by C Cowles-Voysey and HS Morgan. The same architects who designed the Judges Postcards building on Bexhill Road, and the style is instantly recognisable.

The White Rock Pavilion provided Hastings with a much needed concert hall.


Wellington Square

The square was once the site of lime kilns and was the first part of the modern town centre to be built. Developed in about 1820 by bankers Breeds, Fancomb & Wenham and originally named Wellington Place, which is now the name of the East side of the square.

The gardens in the centre were originally restricted to residents use only.

In the 1930s the square became used as a terminus for country buses.

Railings from around the garden in the centre of Wellington Square were taken for scrap metal in the Second World War.

At the bottom left of Wellington Square stood the Castle Hotel which was demolished to make way for the building that is now Poundstretcher.


West Hill Cafe

The West Hill Cafe was constructed in 1955 and subsequently has become very popular due to its amazing sea views.


West Hill Lift

The West Hill Lift was the first of two funicular railways to be built in Hastings and was opened in 1891. This lift takes passengers up the West Hill Cliffs to the castle.


West Hill Mill

A steam mill was situated at the beginning of Priory Road on the West Hill. Built in 1849 by Mr Ward of Ore, it became the last remaining mill in the area before it was demolished in 1874.



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