Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

East Sussex
Hastings (District Authority)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:
TQ 82826 09860



GV II* DATES OF MAIN PHASES/ NAMES OF ARCHITECTS The present church was built in the early C15 on a new site. Restored 1870 by Butterfield, with further restoration work in the C20.

MATERIALS Stone and flint rubble with cut stone dressings. Some chequerboard flint and stonework. Tiled roofs.

PLAN Nave with N and S aisles, W tower and S porch. Chancel with N organ chamber and vestry.

EXTERIOR The exterior is almost wholly early C15 in appearance, and mainly of a single building campaign. Substantial three stage W tower with an embattled parapet in chequerboard flint work and a polygonal NE stair turret rising slightly above the parapet. Showpiece W door and W window set together within a single, tall pointed arch with continuous mouldings and a label with head stops. The W window has an embattled transom, cusped lights and vertical tracery. The W door has a pointed head and deeply cut, continuous mouldings with a square frame formed by the bottom of the window. The windows in the second stage have ogee heads that break the string course; there are plain, rectangular openings with a mullion and transom in the bell stage. The nave and chancel have chequerboard parapets without crenellations, and the aisle parapets are plain. There is no clerestory. The aisles and chancel have C15 windows with vertical tracery; the E window is of five lights and, like the others, was renewed by Butterfield in 1870. Blocked N aisle door. The S porch, rebuilt in the C19, has a chequerboard gable with a small, possibly Anglo-Saxon cross reset within it. The outer opening has multiple narrow mouldings and a hood mould, and is very similar to the C15 S door.

INTERIOR Like the outside, the interior is consistently of the C15, and also like the outside, the tower is the architectural showpiece. Tall, substantial tower arch of three order, the inner on short shafts. The interior has a tierceron vault with moulded ribs rising from shafts and grotesques in the corners. The central opening for the bell ropes carved with animals and foliage, and there are small, carved fleur-de-lys scattered across the surface of the vault webs. The rerearch for the W window has deeply splayed, shafted sides, and the W door is covered by a C19 or C20 internal timber porch. Four bay N and S nave arcades of the C15 on polygonal piers with moulded capitals, the arches with multiple mouldings and stops above the capitals. Tall, wide C15 chancel arch with continuous mouldings. Over it is a C15 doom painting. A C15 window in the chancel N wall now opens into the organ chamber, and another has had its sill raised to allow for the door to the N vestry.

PRINCIPAL FIXTURES Excellent C15 doom painting above the chancel arch, with Christ seated on rainbows, flanked by the Punishment of the Damned and the Heavenly Jerusalem. Piscina and three-seat C15 sedilia in the chancel with cusped arches and openwork tracery spandrels. Polygonal C15 font with alternating quatrefoils and blind arches on the bowl and blind arcading on the stem.

Large C19 reredos, extending up on either side of the E window, with figures, inscriptions and other motifs in tracery panels. C19 timber and stone pulpit, the upper part with open tracery sides. Good C19 choir stalls with open arcaded fronts, foliage carving and kneeling angels on the arms, said to have been brought from St Paul's, Bohemia Road, St Leonard's after its closure.

Some good C19 and C20 glass, including the fine pictorial E window of 1861 by Gibbs, two S aisle windows in an entirely Baroque mode commemorating the Rev Webster Whistler, d.1832, and another of the mid C20 to members of the Eaton family.

Monuments include a brass to Thomas Goodenough and his wife Margaret, c.1520; also a large incised slab to a civilian and wife, c.1458, possibly not English. Pre-Victorian style brass with an urn and drapery to John Edmonds, d.1847, and another to Rev Webster Whistler. Also some C19 and C20 wall tablets. Six hatchments in the nave, and an unusually late C20 hatchment of 1963 in the S aisle.

Royal Arms of George II, painted in 1755 by Roger Mortimer; also by him panels with the Lord's Prayer, Creed and Commandments, now under the tower. Also under the tower, a rhyming inscription of 1756 in a frame warning that, `But if you ring in spur or hat/ sixpence you pay be sure of that/ and if a bell you overthrow/ pray pay a groat before you go'.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES Some good monuments in the churchyard.

HISTORY The church of All Saints was given to Fecamp abbey in Normandy in the early C11, but the church may then have been on a different site. The church was rebuilt on its present site in the early C15 and was called `new' in a will of 1436. The emphasis on the tower suggests that much of the work was paid for by the townspeople, for whom the tower would have been a point of civic pride and display. By the early C19 the church had galleries, but these were removed when the church was restored by William Butterfield in 1870. Butterfield (1829-99) was one of the finest C19 church architects, and is particularly known for his work on All Saints, Margaret Street, London and Keble College. There was some restoration work in the 1970s, with further work c.2000.

SOURCES Buildings of England: Sussex (1965), 519-20 A Guide to the Ancient Church of All Saints, Hastings (n.d. c.2009)

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION The church of All Saints, Hastings, is designated at Grade II* for the following principal reasons: * Parish church of a single, early C15 build, restored by Butterfield in 1870. * Good W tower with tierceron vault. * Excellent C15 wall painting of a Doom over the chancel arch. * Brass of 1520 to Thomas Goodenough and wife, incised slab of 1458, some C19 brasses. * Some good C19 and C20 glass including pictorial E window by Gibbs of 1861.


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This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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