William the 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). 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.
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.
During construction work, it was moved by means of oxen to St. Leonards Gardens. 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 it was moved back to St. Leonards seafront.
References & Notes
- Public Sculptures of Sussex Database: Object Details | Public Sculptures of Sussex Database, accessdate: 29 November 2019
- Brett Manuscript Histories Vol. 1 Chap. 1
- 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
- British Newspaper Archive Hastings & St. Leonards Observer 25 May 1940 Pg. 0005
- Historical Hastings Facebook - Mark Atter