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History of The Brassey Institute

Situated at 13 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 MP for Hastings and built in 1878.

The building originally housed a reference library on the ground floor, an assembly room on first floor and a school of art and science on the upper floors. Accommodation for the Hastings Rowing Club was provided in the basement and there was also a suite of rooms for the proprietor.

Lord Brassey opened a free public library in the Institute in 1881, and donated ownership of the whole building, along with a School of Art to Hastings Council in 1887.

The Brassey Institute was awarded Grade II listed building status in 1987, along with the adjoining former FJ Parsons / Observer print works.

The building is still used as the Hastings Public Library today.


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