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Hill Street
Hastings, East Sussex£735,000 Freehold

Hill Street

An exquisite example of the vernacular charm typical of Hastings' Old Town

Deep in the heart of Hastings’ Old Town is this Grade II-listed four-bedroom townhouse. Unfolding over 1,830 sq ft, the house has four characterful reception rooms and four bedrooms, all finished with a range of natural materials – some left rough, others smoothed with age. Making the most of its south-easterly aspect, the brick-cobbled rear garden abounds with climbing roses, winter jasmine and a camelia. The High Street runs adjacent to Hill Street, with the beach just five minutes away and the train station around 17 minutes on foot, with links to London in an hour and 22 minutes.

Setting the scene 

Until 1800, Hastings was confined to the Bourne Valley, between the large unspoilt open areas of the East and West Hills. Originally, this town, what is now known as the Old Town, had just two main streets, High Street and All Saints’ Street, divided by the Bourne Stream. Today, the Old Town is the historic heart of Hastings, with listed buildings that include a medieval church, post-medieval vernacular buildings, and polite 18th and 19th-century houses and terraces. For more information, please see the History section.

Grand Tour 

Hung terracotta tiles clad the house’s two contrasting façades: a low-lying frontage is tucked beneath a hipped roof, while the sloping topography of the site allows for a towering rear aspect faced with a jettied bay window and topped with twin gables.

As is typical for houses in this steeply terraced area, the home is split into many levels, with the lower-ground floor partially embedded into the cliff. It is here that the practical kitchen and dining room sit, opening out onto the courtyard garden. Quarry tiles run throughout and a broad brick-faced open fireplace takes centre stage.  

Georgian sensibility informs the upper-ground floor, with large sash windows to the front and a cantered bay window to the rear. A comfortable and bright living room is centred within this space, while a snug booklined library is tucked around the corner. A palette of natural materials is found in this room, where rough brickwork meets smooth timber floorboards and wainscoting that wraps around the sitting room. Further timber boarding lines a convenient cloakroom and toilet.  

Four bedrooms run across the top two floors, sharing a family bathroom on the second. The main bedroom has an en suite and a wardrobe cleverly concealed behind pine timber panelling. The second first-floor bedroom is complete with a timber mullioned window with ogee moulding that hints at an Elizabethan origin.

The height of the top floor affords views of the town and coast that are at their best in the fourth bedroom, currently used as a calm study. From its bird’s nest height, the room looks out across the palimpsest of the townscape to the sea beyond.  

Great Outdoors 

The cobbled garden to the rear is burgeoning with cottage garden perennials. Simply organised with two beds on either side, it is the perfect spot for a sheltered read in the summer sun. There is a small shed to store tools, and a gateway through to a right of way which runs down to the high street.  

Out and About 

Hastings is a thriving town, perennially popular with creative communities. Such are the idiosyncrasies of the area that, in 1990, the art critic Jonathan Meades suggested the town be renamed ‘Bohemia’.

The old town is home to some legendary antique traders and independent retailers, including Hastings Antiques WarehouseAG Hendy & CoWarp and WeftEndlingsRoberts Rummage and Ode Interiors. Art galleries are likewise abundant. The most significant is perhaps Hastings Contemporary (formerly the Jerwood Gallery) designed by HAT Projects, though there are many others of note, including The Rebel GalleryLucy Bell Fine Art and The Memorial Gallery. All are a short walk from the house. 

An ever-growing number of restaurants and eateries locally are boosting Hastings’ gastronomic reputation, including Rock-a-Nore KitchenThe CrownThe Albion and local stalwart Maggie’s Fish and Chips. On the High Street, Judges Bakery (founded in 1826) and Penbuckles delicatessen are perfect community food shops, while the family-run Rock-a-Nore Fisheries, a short walk away, sells the daily catch from the local boats. 

Hastings is known for its live music scene, and Sunday evenings are the best time to catch an act. The Stag on the East Hill holds lively folk nights, or for a more peaceful pint, The Jolly Fisherman has a fine selection of craft beers within its buttercup yellow walls. This is a town rich in culture and traditions live large; the raucously surreal Hastings Jack-in-the-Green celebrations are the largest of their kind in the country, and the town bonfire is equally evocative.  

Hastings Station, a 17-minute walk from the house, has frequent services to London (journey time to London Bridge one hour 20 minutes, Charing Cross one hour 30 minutes) 

Council Tax Band: F

Please note that all areas, measurements and distances given in these particulars are approximate and rounded. The text, photographs and floor plans are for general guidance only. Inigo has not tested any services, appliances or specific fittings — prospective purchasers are advised to inspect the property themselves. All fixtures, fittings and furniture not specifically itemised within these particulars are deemed removable by the vendor.


The origins of Hastings as a settlement can be traced back to the Bronze Age, with its strategic maritime position ensuring its importance to invading armies. The most famous of these was the Norman Conquest of 1066, which saw the construction of Hastings Castle on the elevated sandstone cliff above the port. 

Hastings was subsequently recognised as one of the Cinque Ports, but the town and the castle fell into disrepair following devastating floods and raids by the French in the 13th and 14th centuries, respectively. 

By the 16th century, Hastings had acquired a new guise as a small fishing settlement with a reputation for its popularity with smugglers. The soft sandstone cliffs underneath the ruins of Hastings Castle were excavated, creating a system of caves and tunnels for storing goods, the most famous being St. Clement’s Caves.

Hill Street is set up on the hillside near St Clement’s Church. Historically, it was known as ‘Butchers Row’ due to the concentration of butcheries in the area.

Hill Street — Hastings, East Sussex
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