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Modern Britain

Gallery: Churches of East Sussex

by Peter Kessler, 12 July 2019

Hastings & St Leonard's Part 1: Churches of Hastings

Wellington Square Baptist Church, Hastings

Wellington Square Baptist Church in Hastings is on the northern side of the square after which it is named, facing out onto the east side of Albert Road. The square (to the right of the photo) was an early high-class residential build in Hastings, erected in the 1820s on the site of former lime kilns. The Baptist church was integrated into the square in 1838. Arched sash windows, stucco, an unbroken parapet, and moulded cornice give it a Neoclassical appearance.

Robertson Street United Reformed Church and His Place Community Church, Hastings

Robertson Street United Reformed Church was built in 1884-1885 by Henry Ward as Hastings Congregational Church. It replaced an early Lombardo-Gothic building of 1856 on the same site. The narrow main entrance faces east, on the north side of Robertson Street, surrounded by shops, but the full facade is visible here on the southern side of Cambridge Road, opposite Priory Street. It was still URC in 2012, but by July 2018 was known as His Place Community Church.

The Tabernacle Evangelical Church, Hastings

The Tabernacle Evangelical Church lies on the south side of Cambridge Road, twenty metres east of the Cambridge Gardens junction and two doors west of the URC (above). Charles Pavey founded the church in 1854 for an Independent Calvinistic congregation. By the 1970s it had become a Free Evangelical church, and the interior fittings were reordered to cater for the changed form of worship. The exterior with its five tall lancet windows remains unchanged.

Holy Trinity, Hastings

The Parish Church of Holy Trinity Hastings sits at the south-western corner of Trinity Street and Claremont, and filling the northern side of the v-shaped block formed by Robertson Street. The church was built during the 1850s - a period of great growth for the town - by prolific and eccentric architect Samuel Sanders Teulon, a proponent of the mid-Victorian Gothic Revival. It is Decorated/Early English in style, distinguished by its opulently appointed interior.

Holy Trinity, Hastings

The site was taken after another in the town proved to be unsuitable, with a landslip occurring after work had started on the building's foundations. The new site was a compromise due to its odd shape. Robertson and Trinity streets were both formed when the railway arrived in the town in 1851, with squatters' shacks on undeveloped wasteland being cleared for that purpose. The church took eight years to build - seen here from the rear - but a planned tower was never added.

Hastings Christian Spiritualist Church

Hastings Christian Spiritualist Church can be found in what is little more than a narrow shop doorway on the western side of Claremont, at the junction with Robertson Street, and overlooking Carlisle Parade. Unlike the grand spiritualist buildings that can be found in other towns and cities, such as Ilford Spiritualist Church in London, or even Canterbury Spiritualist Church in Kent, this branch is much more modest in its appearance.

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