Archaeological Sites and Monuments
Maintenance and preservation of sites
In Hastings, the maintenance and preservation of sites of historical or cultural interest and ancient monuments is the responsibility of the County Archaeologist.
Scheduled Monuments in Hastings and St Leonards
Hastings Castle, the Collegiate Church of St Mary and the Ladies’ Parlour
The scheduled area includes the castle of Norman origin together with its rock-cut ditch, the remains of the Collegiate church, and the earthworks and its interior area known as the Ladies’ Parlour which has been identified as an Iron Age promontory fort.
The Ladies’ Parlour is part of a defensive enclosure, which occupied the whole promontory, although one half of its original area was taken over by the Norman Castle. The earthwork bank stands as high as 4m in places, and was probably constructed during the Iron Age (700BC - AD43). The ditch runs NW-SE between Castle Hill Road and the cliff edge above Burdett Place.
Within this defended area William, Duke of Normandy, built a motte and bailey castle soon after 1066. It features in the Bayeux Tapestry. The motte lies buried within a later enlargement on which may have stood a stone keep. Rock-cut tunnels north-west of the mound are Norman storage chambers. Coastal erosion undermined much of the south side of the bailey, and the castle had been abandoned by the 15th century.
Within the bailey area a college of priests had been established by 1094. The ruins of their church survive and feature an upstanding square tower. The College was dissolved in 1546.
Iron Age fort and site of St George’s Churchyard on East Hill
This monument includes the earthworks and internal area of an Iron Age cliff castle, defended by steep cliffs on three sides. The principal earthwork defences are on the north-east side, where a natural bank was enhanced to form a bank up to 30m in width and some 4m high, which cut off the promontory from the ground to the east.
The outline of St George’s Churchyard is marked by an approximately rectangular raised area. The name is first mentioned in 1291 although there is no evidence for a church ever having been present on the site.
St Mary’s Chapel, Bulverhythe
The extant remains of the Chapel of St Mary consist of the south, east and north walls of the chancel. The construction is late 11th/early12th century with some Early English additions, and the Chapel was founded and built by the Norman Counts of Eu, to whom William the Conqueror had given the Rape, Honour and Barony of Hastings. It was a possession of the Collegiate Church of St Mary-in-the-Castle.
Hastings Town Wall
Running across the southern end of Hastings Old Town are the fragmentary remains of the Town Wall. The original height of the wall is not known, although sections survive within Pleasant Row, which reach a height of 4.25m on the seaward side. There is no firm evidence to date the Town Wall, although recent research suggests that it was constructed as part of a phase of coastal defence work in the mid 16th century.
Old St Helen’s Church, Ore
The former parish church of Ore, Old St Helens comprises the remains of an 11th century nave, 12th century tower and 13th century chancel, in addition to a surrounding churchyard. The church was partially dismantled in 1870 to provide building materials fro the new church. The north wall survives to a height of 3.5m and incorporates a small Saxo-Norman window and a later Gothic window. The tower is still standing to its full height. The churchyard contains many surviving 17th-19th century gravestones.
Remains of Manor House, Ore Place
The remains of a sandstone and brick building, reconstructed in the Victorian period to form a folly within the grounds of Ore Place, were believed to be the remains of the medieval Manor house of Ore. Excavations revealed that the remains date to the late 16th/early 17th century, and were part of a large mansion. Medieval finds discovered in the area suggest that the medieval Manor house may have stood nearby.
Guidelines Regulating the Detection and Disposal of Archaelogical Material found on Hastings Borough Council owned land
- The applicant acknowledges that all archaeological and historical material forms part of Hastings’ cultural heritage, the value of which is lost if an accurate record is not kept of any discoveries that are made.
- It is acknowledged that all material recovered from land owned by Hastings Borough Council is the property of the Council, provided that such material is not covered by The Treasure Act 1996.
- All finds will be deposited at Hastings Museum.
- No conservation or first-aid treatment of the finds will be attempted without consultation with the Museum Curator who may accept the material into the Council’s care.
- The precise area of search will be identified on a plan or map and agreed in advance with the Museum Curator in consultation with the County Archaeologist.
- Written notice will be given to Hastings Museum two weeks before the proposed search with the date and times of the search.
- No areas designated as Scheduled Ancient Monuments or sites of particular archaeological sensitivity will be searched.
- No object will be removed from the soil below a depth previously agreed.
- Great care will be taken to keep ground disturbance to a minimum and to make good any damage done.
- Monitoring of the project will be carried out by the Museum Curator and her staff who should be kept informed of any significant finds or developments during the course of the search or survey.
- At the end of the project a detailed record of each find spot will be deposited with the finds at the Museum.
- Failure to abide by any of these conditions will result in termination of permission.
For further information about Archaeological Sites and Monuments please email the Conservation team.
Archaeological Sites and Monuments