Priory Bridge

From Historical Hastings

The Priory Bridge was the lowest of the bridges over the Priory Stream. It is believed to have been in existence since the date of the adjacent Augustinian Priory of the Holy Trinity. The location was marked for a period by means of the Albert Memorial. Currently no trace remains although there may be remnants some 7 metres below the current ground level.

1820 Reconstruction

A new, wooden bridge, ten feet wide and suitable for horse-drawn carriages, was built across the Priory Stream around 1820[1], in a similar location to that later construction, the Albert Memorial of 1862. The crossing formed a key component of the only road leading to the west from Hastings. The portion of road going up onto White Rock and Cuckoo Hill was improved c1797, this road being called the Hollow Way because it was cut into the rock to lessen the slope. Dorset Place is the modern name for this older road[2]


The bridge was demolished around 1835[3]


When excavations were undertaken to remove the obstruction caused by Reeves corner, some timbers were found, but these were not believed to be the bridge, although it was speculated in the press that this may be the case.

Earlier excavations whilst draining a pond near the Priory Farm also revealed some large timbers, but again these were believed to relate to early flood prevention measures[4][5].


References & Notes

  1. Reminiscences of Smugglers and Smuggling: John Banks (1873) Pg. 13 Google Books
  2. Hastings Chronicle (S. Peak)
  3. Reminiscences of Smugglers and Smuggling: John Banks (1873) Pg. 14 Google Books
  4. Augustinian Priory of the Holy Trinity#Re-discovery in 1796
  5. A Guide to Hastings & St Leonards (Thomas Ross 1835) pg.23 Google Books