Augustinian Priory of the Holy Trinity

From Historical Hastings Wiki

Summary[edit | edit source]

Founded as the Priory of the Holy Trinity of Hastings c.1191[1] for the black canons[2] in the time of Richard I, either by Sir Walter Bricet[2] or by Walter de Scotney. The latter certainly gave the canons the churches of Crowhurst and Ticehurst.

Priors[edit | edit source]

Jonas [3]

Nicholas c1233 [4]

Alexander (name occurs 1280[5]-90[6])

John resigned 1300[7]

John Longe[8]

Philip before 1344[9]

William de Dene occurs 1352[10]

John Hassok resigned 1402[11]

Richard Weston elected 1402[12] resigned 1414[13]

Stephen Lewes occurs 1441[14]

John Smyth occurs 1478[15] died c1492[16]

Thomas Harmer occurs 1527[17]

Inundation and Relocation[edit | edit source]

The site was abandoned circa 1413 owing to the encroachment of the sea (Cousins gives this date as being 1430[1]). There is however archaeological evidence that other than a small accumulation of silt, the priory buildings were left to decay naturally[18] . The priory was re-established at Warbleton in 1413, lands being granted to them by Sir John Pelham.

The letters-patent made on the grant of lands from Sir John Pelham at Warbilton, are printed in the second volume of Dugdale's Monasticon Anglicanum, under the title “De translatione Sedis ejusdem Prioratus, ratione maris inundationis, usque Warbilton.” These letters-patent recite to this effect: Whereas the church of the Holy Trinity of Hastyng, and the dwelling of our beloved in Christ, the Prior and Convent of the aforesaid Church at Hastyng, have been inundated and laid waste by the sea, so that they could no longer dwell there, as the said Prior and Convent have given us to understand, for which reason our beloved and faithful knight Sir John Pelham, by our license hath given and granted to the same Prior and Convent certain lands and tenements in Warbilton, on which lands a new church and dwelling in honour of the Holy Trinity hath been begun as it is said.[19]

The community remained there until its dissolution in the C16th.

1796 Finds[edit | edit source]

In 1796 a pond was drained and beneath the waters were found "enormous sluice gates and timbers of huge dimensions" believed by Cousins to be part of the Priory.[1]. Moss speculated that these were possibly flood defences erected by the monks of the Priory.[20]

19th Century[edit | edit source]

The owners of the site of the priory in C19 were listed as; Earl Cornwallis, who possessed three-fourths; and Edward Milward, esq., who had the remaining part[21].
The Priory Farm was established very close to the location of the main Priory buildings, the barn believed by Ross to be in the exact location[2], with what was described as a very small fragment of an old wall, adjoining a building, on the site where it stood, being the only discernible trace now left of it.[20]

There is record in the local paper of 1839 that part of the remains of the church were utilised in the building of a stable near to Carswell's Mills[22]

Current Situation[edit | edit source]

Of the original Priory, some walls remain under what used to be a supermarket now ESK (Cambridge Road) and the Priory Street carpark. Some corbels that were found during the construction of the cinema that pre-dated the supermarket are now at Hastings Museum.[23] The site was examined by J. Manwaring Baines in 1937 and discovered parts of a wall comprising fine-coursed masonry with semi-circular bases for shafts. There were also a number of stones showing two rows of dog-tooth moulding between three semi-circular shafts - apparently part of a doorway or window. One particularly interesting stone was carved with a rosette of leaves in a diamond pattern, similar to those found at Lewes Priory.[24]

The wall was not oriented in a truly east-west direction, but closer to NNW and SSE and Baines suspected it formed part of the cloisters.[24]


References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Hastings of Bygone Days and the Present (Henry Cousins - 1911) pg.208 ISBN: 9789332862449 ESCC Library Google Books
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 A Guide to Hastings & St Leonards (Thomas Ross 1835) pg.23 Google Books
  3. Cal. Robertsbridge Chart No. 3
  4. Assize R. 912 m.16
  5. Feet of F.Suss. file 30, No 9
  6. Cal.Robertsbridge Chart No 280
  7. Cant. Archiepis. Reg. Winchelsey, fol.137
  8. Year Bk. 18 Edw. III (Rolls Ser.)), 317
  9. Year Bk. 18 Edw. III (Rolls Ser.)), 317
  10. Assize R. 941,m.31; he had been Prior about three years
  11. Chich. Epis. Reg. Reade, fol.81
  12. Chich. Epis. Reg. Reade,fol.24
  13. Chich. Epis. Reg. Reade, fol.71
  14. Chich. Epis. Reg. Reade, Praty, fol.27
  15. ibid. Story fol.27
  16. Add. MSS. 33173 fol.10
  17. Chich. Epis. Reg. Sherborn, fol. 103
  18. Hastings EUS 2010
  19. The History and Antiquities of the Town and Port of Hastings: Illustrated by a Series of Engravings (Moss 1824) pg.80 Google Books
    ESCC Library Amazon Book link:  B07DTWKPYN
  20. 20.0 20.1 The History and Antiquities of the Town and Port of Hastings: Illustrated by a Series of Engravings (Moss 1824) pg.79 Google Books
    ESCC Library Amazon Book link:  B07DTWKPYN
  21. The History and Antiquities of the Town and Port of Hastings: Illustrated by a Series of Engravings (Moss 1824) pg.86 Google Books
    ESCC Library Amazon Book link:  B07DTWKPYN
  22. Historic Hastings, J. Manwaring Baines pg. 111 ISBN: 0948869003 ISBN: 9780948869006
  23. Hastings & St Leonards Observer 10 April 1937 pg. 13
  24. 24.0 24.1 Historic Hastings, J. Manwaring Baines pg. 112 ISBN: 0948869003 ISBN: 9780948869006