NOTABLE HRFHS AREA BUILDINGS & PLACES
HASTINGS OLD TOWN – Many parts have remained unchanged over the centuries. George Street, High Street, the unique Net Huts, the steepest funicular railway to the East Hill along with its smaller cousin to the West Hill, the largest beach-launched fishing fleet in the Country (although increasingly small). Steeped in history with the two parishes of St Clements and All Saints containing centuries-old houses and shops. The atmospheric fishmarket area still maintains a good trade of fresh-caught local fish.
BATTLE ABBEY & Battlefield – William the Conqueror ordered the Abbey to be built on the site of his famous victory over the Saxon King Harold in 1066. The rural town of Battle grew up around it. Most of the Abbey survived Henry VIII’s sacking of the monasteries and it has become a centre for visitors to the area, keen to sense the magical feeling of the site.
BATEMANS, Burwash – 17thC house, home of Rudyard Kipling from 1902 until his death in 1936. A National Trust museum which contains Kipling’s furniture and artefacts
HASTINGS PIER – The last surviving Hastings Pier, opened in 1872 and popular right up to its hey-day of the 1930s. It became a renowned venue for pop music in the sixties and many big-name bands played there. It was already closed due to lack of maintenance in 2010 when arsonists destroyed almost all of the superstructure. £14.2million later, it is due to re-open in 2016.
BODIAM CASTLE – Built 1385, supposedly for defence against the French but it never saw hostility. Now open to the public by the National Trust which has owned it since 1925.
HASTINGS CASTLE – built in 11thC, it was in ruins by 1399. Only fragments remain on the top of west Hill with a superb view out across the English Channel. The dungeon is the best thing to investigate for visitors.
GREAT DIXTER, Northiam – an original building – Dixter – was erected 15thC but the house which replaced was built in 1912 from new additions to a 16thC house moved here from Kent. It is now open to the public and the gardens are a particular sight to see.
De La WARR PAVILION, Bexhill – famous art deco style theatre and exhibition centre on the seafront of Bexhill, completed in 1935 as pat of Earl De La Warr’s attempts to make Bexhill the Riviera of the British coast and playground of the rich.
HASTINGS MUSEUM & Art Gallery- Victorian building housing many relics of the Hastings area, including a vast prehistorical collection. The Durbar Hall section contains relics and memoirs of the Brassey family’s travels in India and was added in 1886.
YPRES TOWER, Rye – sometimes known as “Rye Castle”, built 1249 as part of the defence against the French at that time. A museum since 1999.
SMUGGLERS’ CAVES, Hastings – natural caves set into West Hill and actually “St Clement’s Caves”. 17thC references but not necessarily actually used by the smugglers of the time. Many locals moved into the long tunnels in 1940, safe from the bombs of WWII. Now a popular visitor centre.
“AMSTERDAM” WRECK, Bulverhythe – The Amsterdam was a ship of the Dutch East India Company which ran aground at Bulverhythe, near Hastings, in 1749, on its maiden voyage. The tips of its hull timbers can be seen at particularly low tides but it had been buried in the salty mud until rediscovery in 1969. Many artefacts have been reclaimed and housed in a purpose-built exhibition centre in the Old Town. A replica of the ship is in Amsterdam Harbour, Netherlands.