William the Conqueror's Stone

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Conqueror's Stone

This stone slab was known as or near a pool called ‘Old Woman’s Tap’ or ‘Tapshaw / Tapshore’. It was believed to have originally stood roughly at the bottom of Maze Hill and a spring / stream flowed over it (hence the name)[1]. There is some evidence that it was in the way of James Burton’s development, possibly near the site of the Royal Victoria Hotel on the seafront in Brett's Histories[2].

Connection with William the Conqueror

A Hastings Guide of 1794, cited by J. Manwaring Baines, states that the rock known as William the Conqueror's Table, overhung a pool known as 'Old Woman's Tap' - this pool being drained to construct the Royal Victoria Hotel. Thomas Cole offers an alternate theory; that it marked the site of Harold's tomb[3].


During construction work, it was moved by means of oxen to St. Leonards Gardens[2][4]. It was moved to near the entrance to the Pier in 1965/6, when the Triodome was erected on the Pier to house the newly-made Hastings Embroidery, the unveiling taking place in 1966. In 1987[5] it was moved back to St. Leonards seafront.[1]


References & Notes

  1. a b Public Sculptures of Sussex Database: Object Details | Public Sculptures of Sussex Database, accessdate: 29 November 2019
  2. a b Brett Manuscript Histories Vol. 1 Chap. 1
  3. The Antiquities of Hastings and the Battlefield (Thomas Cole 1864) Pg. 35 Google Books - 1864 ESCC Library. A later edition is also available: ESCC Library - 1884
  4. British Newspaper Archive Hastings & St. Leonards Observer 25 May 1940 Pg. 0005
  5. Historical Hastings Facebook - Mark Atter