Page:Item 7 1858.pdf/11

From Historical Hastings
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treme interest now that a new town is growing up, requiring every effort to be made to build or rebuild the churches necessary for the rising community; and, above all things, it is highly desirable that no record or memorials whatever connected with any pre-existing church or chapel in the vicinity should be lost sight of or obliterated? It is in this view that the appellation of St Leonards given to the houses east of the Archway (whether designedly or not does not matter) becomes of importance; inasmuch as it serves to perpetuate the remembrance of the Ruins of St Leonards Chapel[Notes 1], which were situated in that locality, and which, within the recollection of those now living, were still to be seen on the edge of the cliff east of the present Archway of St Leonards. Those ruins are mentioned in the Hastings Guide, published by Stell in 1794. Speaking of the walks in the vicinity of Hastings, he says - “Pass the bathing room under the cliff and over the White Rock, a little beyond which are the remains of a ruin on the edge of the cliff, supposed to have been St Leonards Chapel”. When they were removed for the new buildings, many skeletons and bones were dug up, thus leaving no doubt that there was once a burial place also there; though whether the ruins were those of the parish church or of an outlying chapel, so called, may, perhaps, be a question. [The site of the St Leonards Free Chapel, was, almost to a certainty, on the cliff between Grand Parade and the Wesleyan Chapel in Norman Road. The human bones, sculls etc were found when the cliff was cut down for the foundation of Adelaide Place (now Grand Parade) houses, and the steep incline behind (now Norman Road, Shepherd Street etc) was known as the Chapel Field]. The existence there of any such sacred ruins does, I think, afford strong grounds for exhortation to all good churchmen and honest archaeologists (amongst whom, I hope, I may number the ex-Mayor, Mr Ross, himself) seriously to pause ere they talk further of obliterating the name of St Leonards from a locality to which that name once gave a special sanctity and protection. If nothing else is left to us of these consecrated remains, let us at least be able to say “stat nominis umbra”.

A member of the Sussex Archaelogical Society” Jan 1858

Hastings v. St Leonards
“To the Editor of the Hastings and St Leonards News
“Ne sutor ultra trepidam”
“A little learning is a dangerous thing”
Sir – my first impulse was to take no notice of a correspondent who could give such a false colouring to my letter as “Via Media” has done; but that my silence may not be misunderstood by the good people of Hastings (for whom and 
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