Kelly's Directory 1899

From Historical Hastings Wiki

The text below is the introduction to Kelly's 1899 directory for the town.

"HASTINGS, the chief of the Cinque Ports, is a popular seaside resort, municipal, parliamentary and county borough, market and union town and head of a petty sessional division and county court district, with a railway station, and is near the eastern extremity of Sussex, being the chief town of the county, rural deanery of Hastings (first division), archdeaconry of Lewes and diocese of Chichester, situated in 50° 34' N. lat. and 0° 37' E. long and distant from London about 63 miles by road and 74 by railway, through Lewes, by the London, Brighton and South Coast railway, but only 60 by the line through Sevenoaks by the South Eastern railway, both lines coming to the same station; and it is 24 miles east from Brighton, 17 ½ north-east from Eastbourne, 26 ½ east from Lewes, 28 south-east from Tunbridge Wells and 26 ½ south-west from Ashford. Of the authentic history of Hastings prior to the 11th century, little is known and this more or less conjecturally. The Roman remains on East Hill seems to indicate it as the probable site of a Raman station; and some authors contend that the castle was originally a Roman fortress, repaired by the Conqueror; however that may be, it seems certain that Hastings can lay claim to a considerable antiquity, for in A. D. 792 Hastings and Pevensey, with their marshes, are named as having been given by Berodalbus, one of Offa’s chieftains, to the monastery of St. Denis. In the reign of Athelstan, A. D. 924, the place possessed a mint, which it maintained until the time of William Rufus; in 1090 the bishops and nobles assembled at the castle by order of the King; who in 1094 collected here a large army, as did Henry 1. in 1101; in the reign of Richard II. the town was pillaged and burnt, and after its rebuilding was divided into two parishes.

Hastings, as one of the Cinque Ports, appears to have returned two members to Parliament, or at all events did so from 5 Richard II. (1381); but under the provisions of the “Redistribution of Seats Act, 1885” (48 & 49 Vict. c. 23), the number was reduced to one. The borough was incorporated by charter of Queen Elizabeth 111 1588, and this charter was confirmed by Charles II.; under the “Municipal Corporations Act, 1832” (5 and 6 Wm. IV. c. 76), the Corporation, previously consisting of a bailiff or mayor, and jurats, consisted of a mayor, six Aldermen, and eighteen councillors, and for municipal purposes was divided into six wards; in 1897 the Borough was extended by Local Government Boards Provisional Order Confirmation. (No. 17, Act, 1897), and now exceeds the parliamentary borough in extent, and is governed by a mayor, 10 Aldermen, and 30 councillors, and for municipal purposes is divided into ten wards. The extensions to the borough consist of the remainder of the civil parish of Ore, the whole of St. Matthew ecclesiastical parish and a part of civil parish. The borough has a commission of the peace, a separate court of quarter sessions and a police force. Under the provisions of the “Local Government Act, 1888,” it was declared a county borough for certain purposes.

This modern watering place consists of the towns of Hastings and St. Leonards-on-Sea, and comprises a frontage towards the sea of 3 miles: it is a great resort for invalids and is much frequented by visitors for sea bathing on account of its warm and sheltered aspect, ensuring it a milder climate in the winter than that of many other watering places; its exemption from damp and mist, its cooler atmosphere in summer and the smallness of its daily range of temperature compared with that of other places, besides the beauty of its surrounding scenery, add to its attractions.

The old town is situated in a valley between two high hills, known as the East and West cliffs, and runs along the seashore, at the base of a range of steep cliffs, which protect it in a considerable degree from the north and north-east winds. The more modern portion commences about the middle of the sea front, and from westward; all this portion is popularly known as St. Leonards, although St. Leonards proper is but a comparatively small district at the westernmost end.

The pier is an elegant structure of iron, erected by a company at a cost of £32,000; it is 920 feet in length and 40 feet in width, and at the south or seaward end is a pavilion 120 feet in length by 80 in breadth and holding 2,000 people; here an excellent band, numbering 16 performers, plays three times daily during August, September and October, under the direction of Dr. Abram, vocal and instrumental concerts, variety and dramatic entertainments are also given during the remaining nine months.

The town is well drained; the sewage being discharged twice daily, both at the east and west end, and in such a manner that the entire outflow is carried many miles away to sea by the action of the tide.

The Wealden district, of which Hastings sands form the lower half, offers a deeply interesting field of investigation to the geologist. On the beach are found stems of tropical palms (Endogenites Erosa) and other fossilized remains of submerged forests.

The strata in the Hastings district consist of the formations called (i) the “Wealden,” a fresh-water deposit, about 2,000 feet thick, lying between the Chalk and the Oolite, forming the lowest or “Neocomian” division of the Cretaceous system, and divided into two groups, the Weald Clay and the Hastings Sands (the former of which does not occur in the district), and (ii) the “Purbecks,” the upper or “Portlandian” division of the Jurassic System, a fresh-water and estuarian deposit which occurs only in the neighbourhood of Netherfield and Brightling.

Here the boring terminated, April 12th, 1876, at a depth of 1,905 feet, unfortunately without the discovery of the Palaeozoic rocks, which are supposed to underlie the South East of England.

Hastings, St. Leonards and suburbs are supplied with gas by a private company whose offices and works are in Queen’s road.

The town is also partly lit with the electric light supplied by the Hastings and St. Leonards Electric Light Co. Limited; 30 miles of underground cable have been laid and the whole of the sea front from the Fish Market to end of, a distance of 3 miles, as well as the Hastings pier, is now lighted with are lamps.

Water is supplied from works, the property of the Corporation.

Hastings comprises the parishes of All Saints, St. Clement, St. Mary-in-the-Castle, St. Andrew, St. Leonard, St. Mary Magdalan, St. Michael-on-the-Rock, St. Mary,,: St. John, St. Matthew and St. Helens. The three last-named are newly-formed civil parishes; St. John, taken from the old parish of that name; St. Matthew, an ecclesiastical parish, and St. Helen, comprising a greater part of Ore civil parish and the ecclesiastical parish of.

All Saints’ church is an ancient structure, partly of flint and stone and chiefly in the Perpendicular style, and has a tower containing 5 bells: there is a slab of black marble with figures of a man and woman, the date of which is given as 1458, and a brass to Thomas Goodenough, and Margaret his wife; the east window is a memorial to the 8th Earl of Waldegrave, and there are others: the church will seat 650 persons: in the graveyard attached to this church George Mogridge (Old Humphrey) is buried; he died at Hastings, November 2, 1854. The register dates from the year 1558, and contains an entry of the baptism of the notorious Titus Oates, whose father was a former rector of this parish. The living is a rectory, net yearly value £104, with glebe, value £64, in the gift of and held since 1862 by the Rev. George Alfred Foyster M.A. of Trinity College, Cambridge.

St. Clement’s church is also chiefly in the Perpendicular style, and has a tower containing 8 bells, several brasses, and monuments to the families of Milward, Collier, and Delves: the east window and others are memorials to the Waldegrave family, Earls Waldegrave: two cannon balls, embedded in the tower, commemorate an attack made by the French and Dutch in 1720: there are 800 sittings. The register dates from the year 1558. The living is a rectory, gross yearly value £150, with residence, in the gift of and held since 1861 by the Rev. Henry Brereton Foyster M.A. of Trinity College, Cambridge, prebendary of Chichester, and surrogate. St. Clement’s and All Saints were united in 1770, but have been separated since 1849.

St. Mary’s-in-the-Castle, erected in 1826, is of stone, in the Classic style, and has a turret containing one bell: the church has been restored, and affords 1,500 sittings. The register dates from the year 1828. The Royal Free Chapel of St. Mary within the castle, a structure entirely independent of the Bishops of Chichester, after being buried for centuries, was, in 1824, uncovered by the Earl of Chichester. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £300, in the gift of Hyndman’s trustees, and held since 1875 by the Rev. Frederick Whitfield B.A. of Trinity College, Dublin.

St. Andrew’s, Queen’s road, erected in 1869, at a cost of £3,600, is of stone, in the Early English style, and has a tower with spire containing one bell: there are 750 sittings, half being free. The register dates from the year 1869. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £311, in the gift of trustees, and held since 1889 by the Rev. Arthr. Vandeleur William Carden M.A. of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.

All Souls, is an ecclesiastical parish, formed July 12, 1889, out of All Saints: the church, in Athelstan road, was built in 1890, at a cost of about £10,000, in the Early English style: in 1893 four stained windows and a font of Caen stone were erected and an organ provided at a cost of £1,250. The register dates from July, 1891. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £110, in the gift of Mrs. Mason, and held since 1895 by the Rev. Edward Francis Penrice Durnford M.A. of Selwyn College, Cambridge.

BLACKLANDS ecclesiastical parish was formed In July, 1881, out of the parishes of St. Mary-in-the-Castle, Hastings and Ore. Christ Church, built in 1877, is of stone, in the Early English style, and has a tower containing 6 bells: there are 800 sittings. The register dates from the year 1881. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £450, with residence, in the gift of R. F, Martin esq. and the Rev. J. Martin, and held since 1881 by the Rev. Alfd. Hodges M.A. of Hertford College, Oxford.

Emmanuel is an ecclesiastical parish formed Feb. 5, 1875; the church, built in 1874 at a cost of £4,500, is of brick and stone, in the Early English style, and has a tower containing a clock and 3 bells: the church was enlarged in 1892, at a cost of £1,700, and affords 450 sittings, one half being free. The register dates from the year 1875. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £350, in the gift of Hyndman’s trustees, and held since 1887 by the Rev. Sholto John Henry Newman B.A. of Queen’s College, Cambridge.

Holy Trinity is an ecclesiastical parish, formed March 1st, 1882, and comprises the small civil parish of St. Michael: the church, in Robertson street, erected during 1851—9, at a cost of £8,000, is of stone, in the French Gothic style, and has 900 sittings. The register (baptisms only) dates from the year 1864; marriages from 1882. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £300, in the gift of the Bishop of Chichester, and held since 1889 by the Rev. Robert Edward Sanderson D. D. of Lincoln College, Oxford, canon residentiary and prebendary of Chichester, and proctor in Convocation.

HALTON is an ecclesiastical parish, formed in 1838 from St. Clement’s, Hastings: the church of St. Clement is of stone, erected in 1838, and has a turret containing one bell: it was restored and enlarged in 1888, and affords 540 sittings, 360 being free. The register dates from the year 1838. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £204, with 1 ½ acres of glebe and residence, in the gift of the Bishop of Chichester, and held since 1891 by the Rev. Albert Moore O’Connor Macdona M.A. of Trinity College, Dublin.

The Fishermen’s church, under the East Cliff, erected in 1854 at a cost of £600, is of stone, in the Pointed style, with a gable bellcote and one bell: there are 250 sittings. The chaplaincy, in the appointment of the rectors of St. Clement’s and All Saints’, has been held since 1895 by the Rev. Herbert John Sanders. There is an endowment of £80 yearly, and the St. Andrew’s Waterside Church Mission gives a grant of £50 towards the stipend.

The Catholic church, in High street, dedicated to St. Mary, Star of the Sea, and erected in 1882, at a cost of £11,500, is of beach pebbles with Bath stone dressings, in the English Gothic style of the 15th century, and affords 750 sittings; Rev. Dominic Crescitelli and Rev. Aloysius Monselli, priests.

There are Congregational, Baptist, Calvinistic, Unitarian, and Wesleyan chapels, besides other Dissenting places of worship, and a meeting house, in South terace, for the Society of Friends.

The Borough Cemetery, 2 miles north-east, was opened in 1856, and, with subsequent extensions, covers 36 acres; 32 acres of land adjoining Ore cemetery, purchased in 1890, remains for future extensions; with two mortuary chapels; the whole is under the control of the Town Council acting as a Burial Board.

The Town Hall, erected in 1880, at a cost of £20,000, is of stone, in the Gothic style, and includes a council room with stained windows, police court, committee and magistrates’ rooms, and apartments for juries and witnesses, with separate offices for the town officials. Adjoining is the, with a number of police cells and other offices.

The Old Town Hall, in High street, re-erected in 1823 on the site of a former hall, built in 1700, is now used for business purposes.

The School of Science and Art, in Claremont, was erected in 1878, and is of red brick with stone dressings, in the Early French Gothic style; it comprises a library and museum and a large public room. The library contains about 8,000 volumes; it is under the control of the Corporation, and is open free daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

In the Assembly Room is a fine group in marble representing “Edith finding the body of Harold on the battle-field of Hastings.”

The Hastings Public Hall, in Robertson street, erected in 1859, is a building in the Classic style, holding 700 persons.

The fruit market, in George street, is open every day, and a corn market is held over it every Saturday.

The fish market, erected in 1870, on the east beach, is an octagonal building, and has twelve stands. The local fishery, which is large and increasing, employs 150 boats, averaging about 12 tons each, but varying from 5 to 30 tons each. Among the various shell fish met with on the rocks is the Purpurea Lapillus, which is especially interesting as yielding, in common with the Murex of the Mediterranean, the rich and famous Tyrian purple dye.

The Hastings Baths at White Rock, erected by a limited company during 1876—9, at an expenditure of £60,000, comprise a swimming bath for gentlemen 180 by 40 feet, a swimming bath for ladies, and another for children; private baths, public lavatories and hair cutting saloons for ladies and gentlemen, and a Turkish bath for gentlemen.

The Borough Fire Brigade, established in June, 1861, comprises a captain, surgeon and 3 lieutenants, with a staff of 70 men, divided into nine sections, the principal station being in Middle street. There are six manuals, one steamer and five escapes, one in the High street, one at the Central cricket ground, Queen’s road, one at Undercliff, St. Leonards, one in Mount road,, and one in Corporation yard,; nine hose reels and six fire pumps, and one escape and reel combined; the residences of the firemen being connected by telephone and electric bells with the principal station, they can all, in case of fire, be summoned immediately.

The Royal National Life Boat Institution have a boat named “Charles Arkcoll,” placed here in 1880, and a boat house on East Parade, first occupied in July, 1882, with a tower 46 feet high.

The hotels in Hastings are the Queen’s, Palace, Castle, Albany, Albion, Green’s and Royal Oak.

Hastings Hydropathic Establishment, opened in 1884, is situated on the Old London road, in grounds 5 acres in extent.

The Gaiety Theatre, in Queen’s road, opposite the Town Hall, and opened 1 August, 1882, will hold about 1,500 persons.

The Hastings Batteries of the 2nd Cinque Ports Artillery Brigade, Eastern division, Royal Artillery, have orderly rooms in Rock-a-Nore and Fairlight roads and the 1st Cinque Ports Rifle Volunteers have head quarters in Middle street.

The drinking fountain, of Portland stone, near Holy Trinity church, was erected in 1861, in compliment to Sarah, Countess of Waldegrave (d. 1873).

Another fountain, standing at the top of High street, was erected at a cost of £1,000, to Francis William Staines esq. J.P.; and immediately below the East Cliff is the East Well, built in 1848.

The Albert Memorial, near the Queen’s Hotel, erected by public subscription at a cost of £860, consists of a tower, in the Gothic style, containing an illuminated clock, placed in the tower by the Town Council, at a cost of upwards of £200; on one side, within a niche, is a statue of H. R. H, the Prince Consort: one of the four sides of the basement is furnished with a drinking fountain.

The Hastings, St. Leonards and East Sussex Hospital, at White Rock, erected in 1886—7, at a cost of £18,000 is of red brick, with Portland stone dressings, the wards being arranged in two circular wings attached to a central building; there are 73 beds; the hospital is supported by voluntary subscriptions; the number of in-patients for 1997 was 636, and of out-patients, 4,896.

Beau Site Convalescent Home in White Rock gardens, was opened 21 July, 1886, for the deserving poor (male and female), of 16 years of age and upwards, recovering from non-infectious maladies, accidents, or other causes; patients are free of all charge, and an annual subscription of one guinea entitles the subscriber to send one patient for three weeks.

The charities for distribution amount to £250 yearly.

Hastings Castle was built in the reign of William the Norman, and occupies the site of a more ancient fortress; the ruins cover an area of about an acre and a half, now laid out as ornamental gardens, open to the public on payment of a small fee: in 1591 it passed by purchase to the family of Pelham.

The town and neighbourhood offer many other objects of interest to the antiquary and pedestrian; on the west side of the castle is the Priory valley, so called from the Priory of Holy Trinity, founded here in the time of Richard I. by Sir W. Briset, for Canons of the Order of St. Augustine, but gradually destroyed by the encroachments of the sea; towards the sea on the east side of the castle are some remains of the old walls, which once protected the town on the sea side; and here the fishermen, Danish by descent, and distinguished alike by their garb and dialect, have always lived apart from the other townsmen; on the East hill, from 300 to 400 feet high, and for the most part uninclosed, the lines of a Roman camp may be traced. The Bourne valley, so called from an old stream which has long since ceased to flow, is the oldest and quaintest part of the town and includes streets with many picturesque old houses; from Fairlight, which rises to a height of 600 feet above the sea, the coast of France and the Dover cliffs are distinctly seen on a fine day. In are the Dripping Well and the Lovers’ Seat. Ecclesbourne Glen, a natural spot overshadowed by trees, where ferns grow in profusion, is on the east side of the town, and on the west side is, chiefly remarkable for the picturesque and secluded church of St. Leonard, known as “the Old Church in the Wood;” northwards lies the old Roar, a waterfall in a wood; on the west hill are St. Clement’s caves, supposed to have been formerly used by smugglers to hide contraband goods; they contain curious figures of this Saint, of Harold II. and Napoleon I. and were visited in 1864 by the Prince and Princess of Wales; dancing parties are frequently given here.

The Central Cricket and Recreation Ground in Queen’s road contains 6 acres, and includes a cricket pavilion, built at a cost of about £1,000; it is held by trustees for the use of the town.

Alexandra park, very pleasantly situated in a winding valley extending from St. Helen’s road to Silver hill, contains an area of about 75 acres, prettily laid out and planted with trees, shrubs and flowers, at a cost of about £35,000; the park is also ornamented with miniature lakes, containing many water-fowl, and was formally opened by T. R. H. the Prince and Princess of Wales, on Monday, June 26, 1882, when the Princess planted a tree, and bestowed her name upon the park. Near here is the St. Andrew's Chalybeate Spa, with a spring possessing exceptional medicinal virtues.

Baldslow, 3 miles north, is a hamlet in the parish of St. Mary-in-the-Castle; here is an iron church, with 80 sittings.

The population in 1891 was: —

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— -, All Saints.

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