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St Helen's Church, Hastings

St Helen's Church, Hastings

Open Days at Old St Helen’s Church, Hastings

This Saturday, 9 May, St Helen’s Church – the oldest church in Hastings – will be open to the public. Bronwen Griffiths tells HOT more about the church.

Old St Helens Church, Hastings – detail

Old St Helens Church, Hastings – detail

The Old St Helen’s Church believed to be one of the oldest surviving buildings in Hastings.

The ruins have features dating from the 11th to the 14th centuries. The dedication to St Helen’s and a nearby holy well are typically Saxon. The Church is a Grade II listed building and a scheduled monument.

Although the original church was constructed in the 11th century there have been many alterations since that time. The earliest remaining structure from the 11th century church is the west front of the nave with its circular blocked in windows, and parts of the north wall. The tower dates from the 12th century.

The nave and chancel are roofless though much of the north wall survives. The east wall of the chancel contains the remains of a fine 14th century window. The remains of a canopied tomb dating to the 13th century can be seen on the inside north wall.

The churchyard is of interest as it contains memorials from the 17th century to the mid- 19th century, and has lain untouched since the church was partly dismantled in 1870 to provide building materials for the new St Helen’s Church on the Ridge. A number of the sandstone memorials are carved with symbols like the hour glass, angel’s head and palm leaves.

During open days the tower is accessible. If the weather is fine there are magnificent views of Beachy Head from the top.

The church can be found in Ore Place, just off the Ridge, not far from the present day cemetery. You can find more information on Facebook or visit the St Helens Church website

The open days are run by the Friends of Old St Helen’s. Future dates are:
Saturday 13 June 2015, 10am–2pm
Saturday 11 July 2015, 10am–2pm
Saturday 8 August 2015, 10am–2pm
Saturday 12 September 2015, 10am–4pm – Heritage Open Day
Saturday 10 October 2015, 10am–2pm

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Posted 15:38 Wednesday, May 6, 2015 In: Home Ground

Also in: Home Ground

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