Robertson Street

From Historical Hastings
Robertson Street
Named AfterPatrick Robertson
Junctions Cambridge Road
Havelock Road
Queen's Road
Harold Place
Trinity Street
Robertson Passage
White Rock
Carlisle Parade
Construction start25 Jan 1850[1]
Places of WorshipHoly Trinity Church
Robertson Street Congregational Church

Built on the site of the America Ground, construction started soon after initial plans were drawn up by the architects Reeks Humbert, with an advertisement for groundworks (drains etc) appearing in the local paper on the 25th January 1850. Some six weeks after this, an advertisement appeared for what possibly was the first trader to move into the new street; that of R. Funnell with a Provision Warehouse at 6 Robertson Street supplying tea and coffee[1], with the gilder and framer Thomas Mann (1816-1903) moving in not long after. By 1852, the street was populated with 16 traders appearing in a local directory[2]

A number of accidents were sustained by the workmen in construction of the new buildings; one of which, related by Brett was that of a carpenter, Mr. George Tutt, who fell from one set of joists to the joists below (no flooring/ceilings having been yet constructed) and rather miraculously sustained no injuries of note on the 22nd of December 1851[3].

Perception of new street

Initially traders moving to the street were wary of how their business would fare in the new location, being on a road that ,for a time, did not lead to any destinations (most of the town was still either central in the Priory Valley or further east). As a result, many established traders still maintained their existing premises. These fears however proved to be unfounded with a local guide towards the end of the 19th century describing the road thus; "Robertson Street is the `Regent Street’ of Hastings; the place where ladies most do congregate when on shopping thoughts intent; and, indeed, there is some excuse, for the shops are of the best, and the wares so tastefully displayed that 'tis no wonder ladies are tempted when time hangs heavy and purses are well filled. During several hours of the day the roadway is filled with carriages, and the side walks thronged with pedestrians"[1]

Completion of Shops

By 1855, the Post Office Directory gives forty four shops, increasing to 53 by the time the 1862 edition of the directory was published.[1][4]

Double-sided Premises

Unusually perhaps, a number of properties in the road were of a double-aspect, also opening onto Cambridge Road - these being numbers 47-51, corresponding to the odd-numbers 7-11 on Cambridge Road.


In March of 1997, the sections of both Robertson Street and Cambridge Road closest to the Town Centre were pedestrianised.


Features in Robertson Street

Name Street No From To

References & Notes

  1. a b c d 1066 Genealogy: 1066 Genealogy, accessdate: 29 November 2019
  2. Osbornes Street & Commercial Directory 1852 (Henry Osborne George Street)
  3. Brett Manuscript Histories Vol. 4 Chap. 46 Pg. 153
  4. Post Office Directory 1855 & 1862