Colin Crosby Heritage Tours


Hastings is a popular seaside resort in Sussex, 4 miles from Bexhill.

The town is most famous for the Battle of Hastings, in the year whose date, 1066, is known by more English people than any other. Actually, the victorious William of Normandy landed at Pevensey, and the battle was fought 6 miles away, where the present day town of Battle stands.

The harbour was then situated between West Hill and White Rock, but it silted up and what is now the Old Town was built to its East.

Hastings was one of the original five members of the Cinque Ports, but suffered from French raids. By the 14th century it had dwindled to a fishing village, with boats drawn up on the shingle as they still are today.

The tall weatherboarded fishermen`s net stores are unique to Hastings.

The town developed as a seaside resort from about 1775, with building spreading over the site of the original harbour.

Hastings Pier was built in 1872, and the two cliff railways are still operational.

Hastings Castle was built by William in 1086, on the site of a wooden one constructed in 1067, and now contains "The 1066 Story".

Below West Hill, around St. Clement`s Caves, are the Fishermen`s Museum, Shipwreck Heritage Centre and Smugglers` Adventure.

All Saints` Church (where the notorious Titus Oates was baptised and was briefly curate) and St. Clement`s Church (where Dante Gabriel Rossetti was married) are both in the Perpendicular style, while St. Mary Star of the Sea Church was built largely by the poet Coventry Patmore.

Cloudesley Shovel House is a fine timber framed building.

The White Rock Pavilion was built in 1913. It contains the Hastings Embroidery, the work of the Royal Schol of Needlework to celebrate the 900th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings. It is 243 feet long and 3 feet high.

The Conqueror`s Stone, near the Pier, is where William is said to have breakfasted before setting off for the battle.

There is a famous annual chess tournament.

Among those born in Hastings are Jo Brand, comedienne; Emma Bunton ("Baby Spice"), singer; and Shirley Collins, folk singer.

John Logie Baird carried out experiements at Hastings towards his development of television.

Archibald Belaney achieved a considerable amount of fame while successfully masquerading as a wise Native American named Grey Owl.

Blue Badge Guide Colin Crosby is available to lead Guided Walks around Hastings for groups.

Places in Hastings

Alexandra Park, Blue Reef Aquarium, Fishermen`s Museum, Hastings Castle, Hastings Pier, Hastings Station, Shipwreck Heritage Centre, Smugglers Adventure, St. Mary-in-the-Castle

Places in Hastings...