From Historical Hastings

Baines in his Histories of Hastings' Houses and Properties in three volumes Pg.162[1] states the following:

"This was the old name for what is now the district and only came into existence because of two roads - the turnpike road from St Leonards to London and north Kent by way of Sedlescombe (authorised by Act, 1837) and the turnpike road from Hastings to Battle by way of , which actually was ready first and was opened 20 Aug 1838."

The object of both was to reduce the long detour up the Old London Road, through and along the Ridge to London.

The intersection of these two routes opened up a wonderful opportunity for business and a tavern with gardens was built by Henry Edlin. He had made a success of the Harold Hotel in the new town of St Leonards from its opening in 1830 until he took over the St Leonards (now the Royal Victoria) Hotel in 1834. He left in 1839 for) Brighton but the previous year had re-organised the posting to London, making the stages more equal, As the first reference to the Tivoli Tavern mentions William Edlin, Henry may have installed his son there but this has not yet been verified.

The Tivoli Tavern was probably erected between what is now the Battle Road and Sedlescombe Road North during 1838. Moor's Strangers Guide, 1838 says "The Tivoli Gardens are open in the: summer season for Parties and a commodious Tavern attached thereto. It is a pleasant walk from Hastings.". Robson's Directory, 1838 shows Thomas Phillips as occupier. The Dover Telegraph, 31 Aug 1839, has this advertisement[2]:

TIVOLI TAVERN. To be sold or Let - the Tivoli Tavern & extensive gardens and Pleasure Grounds and gardener's cottage, covering about 5 acres of land, with excellent tables and Yard, well supplied with water, now occupied by Wm. Edlin, situate about a mile distant from Hastings and St Leonards at the junction of and fronting the two London roads, forming a triangle with and so placed as to catch the whole ingress or egress (either on business or pleasure) to and from these celebrated places. N.B. The owner has also a Brewhouse & Beer shop adjoining it ... situate near the Saxon Hotel at the entrance between Hastings and St Leonards.

This was followéd by an advertisement of the Silverhill pottery and brickyard, to view which application had to be made to Mr. Edlin.

I have not vet been able to trace a license being given the Tivoli Tavern, my records only going up to 1836.

Pigot's Directory, 1840 shows "Tivoli Hotel, Wm Matthew Edlin™ Osborne's Guide and Directory, 1854 shows "TIVOLI GARDENS, are open in the summer season. Parties may be supplied with tea and other refreshments at the Tivoli Tavern, to which the “Gardens are attached, The Tivoli is situate on the London road about one mile from Hastings, and nearly the same distance from St Leonards,"

The map in Hastings Past & Present, 1855, shows "Tivoli House" on this site but has no further reference to the gardens.

Its final history may be summarised

1859 Tivoli Tavern & tea gardens, James Barnett
1862 Tivoli Inn, James Barnett.

Brett in his MS Local History, iii.286 Says "The Tivoli Tavern with its attendant tea grounds was later pulled down to build a mansion known as Silverlands. During the operations remains of the prehistoric monsters, the Iguanodons, which once roamed the Weald and whose footprints and bones have often been discovered in the Hastings district, were uncovered. The site is now covered by Silverlands Road."

Our records of the mid 19th century are by no means as good as I should have liked, "Silverlands" first appears in the P. O. Diréctory for 1366 as in the occupation of Richard William Morris, Esq., but there is no mention of it in 1859 nor 1862. In 1866 James Barnett is shown as at the Tivoli Tavern and the map of 1873 shows this on its present site in Battle Road.

It seems therefore that the Tavern was moved early in the (eighteen) sixties to the new site.

Silverlands Road was built over the site in 1894"


References & Notes

  1. Histories of Hastings' Houses and Properties in three volumes: J. Manwaring Baines - Hastings Museum and Art Gallery
  2. British Newspaper Archive Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser 31 August 1839 Pg. 0003