Hastings Artillery Fort(s)

Has been described as a Certain Artillery Fort

There are no visible remains

NameHastings Artillery Fort(s)
Alternative Names
Historic CountrySussex
Modern AuthorityEast Sussex
1974 AuthorityEast Sussex
Civil ParishHastings

The early part of this period coincided with wars with France and Spain, resulting in expansion of coastal defences in the 16th century. Given this context and the lack of earlier evidence for walls, the first record of town defences – a reference in 1556 to the Sea Gate, and in 1558 to the walls themselves – probably relate to what were newly built defences (Martin, Martin and Wittick 1985). The wall stretched across the lower end of the Bourne valley and had three gates (from east to west, the Pulpit Gate, the Bourne Gate, and the Sea Gate). The eastern end of the fort terminated in the East Fort, possibly part of the postulated mid-16th- construction, although a reference to finishing works on it in 1596 could suggest that it was an addition. A west fort, below the castle at the west end of George Street, is first recorded in the mid- 17th century (ibid; Martin, Martin and Chubb 2009). A Survey of the Sussex coast in 1587, in obvious response to the greater Spanish threat, described the ordnance at Hastings including three brass Portugal 'bases', a culverin, two sacres, two minions, and a robinet (Lower). New guns were acquired in 1627, which, after temporary removal in 1645 to 1656, were finally decommissioned in 1660. Both forts were rebuilt in the early 1690s (following a minor bombardment by the French in 1690 (VCH 1937)). By 1715 the corporation had built a storehouse within the east fort and its military function appears to have ceased by 1734. The west fort, however, remained operable. The two eastern town gates remained in use in 1750, but the Sea Gate may have been removed by then, and records of maintenance of the wall suggest that it had become less important – and often neglected – from the mid-17th century (Martin, Martin and Wittick 1985; Martin, Martin and Chubb 2009). (Harris 2010)

Gatehouse Comments

West Fort at about TQ821094 East Fort at about TQ826095. Quite the nature of the late C16 fortification is unclear.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTQ826095
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • Salzman, L.F. (ed), 1937, VCH Sussex Vol. 9 p. 10
  • Lower, M.A., 1870, A Survey of the Coast of Sussex made in 1587 p. 5


  • 1991, Fort p. 18-19, 21


  • Harris, R.B., April 2010, Hastings Historic Character Assessment Report: Sussex Extensive Urban Survey Download copy
  • Martin, D., Martin, B., and Clubb, J., 2009, Hastings Old Town: An Architectural History to 1750 (unpublished Institute of Archaeology, University College London report) p. 23
  • Martin, D., Martin, B. and Wittick, C., 1985, An Archaeological Interpretative Survey of The Old Town Wall, Hastings, East Sussex (University College London Field Archaeology Unit) (Lewes: East Sussex SMR)