High Street

From Historical Hastings
High Street
Other Names
Former name(s)Market Street

Prior to 1814 was known as Market Street.

19th Century changes

Toward the end of the 19th century there was something of a bottle-neck at the sea-end of the High Street caused by the incline known as 'Oak Hill' and the narrowness of the road adjacent to the turning into the Swan Hotel yard that was removed circa 1889. The Corporation arranged with Mr. F. A. Langham and the Hastings Cottage Improvement Society, the owners of the two houses adjoining the Swan Hotel on the south side to purchase those properties. At the south corner of the premises the set-back was increased to 18 inches, becoming greater and greater until the property line joined into the Swan Hotel, where the width of road was to be six feet more than it was originally. Following the demolitions and construction of a retaining wall to face the raised-pavement resulting, two new properties were built on the land with shop fronts and steps were constructed to provide access to Oak Passage[1]

A cellar, believed to be Norman in terms of date, is reported by Brett in his Manuscript Histories as having been discovered in a house almost opposite to the old Town Hall during 1861[2]

Twentieth Century

Further changes to this area of the High Street took place in 1926, when the rotunda Fishmarket was demolished and the space converted to be a turning circle for the Trolleybus routes that were introduced in that year. The turning circle ultimately became the car park.

One feature that is often overlooked, but worth pointing out, is that the railings protecting the edge of the raised pavements were actually only installed during WW2, previously only isolated sections had railings.


References & Notes

  1. British Newspaper Archive Hastings & St. Leonards Observer 28 September 1889 Pg. 0007
  2. Brett Manuscript Histories Vol. 3 Chap. 40