History

History

1591 – The Pelham Family purchased Hastings Castle and the area around it, which was used for farming.

1824 – The sixth Earl of Chichester, Thomas Pelham saw an opportunity for development on his land at the bottom of the cliff to house the growing ‘discriminating population’ of Hastings. He engaged Joseph Kat as architect and work began, including the blowing up and removal of a large section of cliff. This work was overseen by John ‘Yorkie’ Smith.

1825 – The foundation stone of St. Mary in the Castle was laid, and the church was completed in 1828.

1837 – William the IV dies, his widow Queen Adelaide visited Hastings to grieve and worshiped at St. Mary in the Castle where she had her own reserved pew.

1856 – The last burials took place in the crypt, because the borough cemetery had opened.

1880s – The coffin lift that enabled coffins to be lowered from the church to the crypt was removed and the floor was re-laid.

1893 – Altar decoration below stained glass was painted by H. Weston and H. Tickner.

1921 – New stained-glass window by Heaton Butler and Bayne was installed to commemorate the fall of the perish during WWI.

1951 – St. Mary in the Castle was made a grade II* listed building.

1970 – St. Mary in the Castle was deemed to be a surplus to requirements as a Church of England place of worship. The last service was held on the 13th of September.

1986 – Hastings Borough Council acquired the freehold.

1990 – Restoration work begins on the roof and ceiling plasterwork.

1997 – The first concert was held in the incomplete building; and musicians sat amongst the scaffolding poles.

1998 – St. Mary in the Castle is opened as a live music and arts centre by Chris Smith MP on 3rd November.

2013 – The St Mary in the Castle Charitable Trust was established to ensure the maintenance and preservation of the building and continues to this day.