Ore Place

From Historical Hastings
Loading map...

The seat of the Lady Dowager Elphinstone. Horsfield records that it was originally constructed by John of Gaunt (1340-1399), Duke of Lancaster and later converted to a religious house[1], then becoming the residence of Richard Sackwell and Crispe family[2] The building was re-constructed in the early 1800s by Thomas Spalding (1805-1887). Many archaeological relics have been found in the grounds.[1]

Religious Retreat

With the building falling into disuse following the ownership of the eccentric Mr. Farmer Atkinson[3], it was converted and extended by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin - joining Jesuits to set up a retreat & study centre there in 1906. Hastings had already had a significant French Jesuit presence - this lasting between 1883 until 1926, although Teilhard only was present until 1912. In total, there were 20,000 books weighing 60 tons moved into the buildings during its usage as a learning retreat and accommodation for up to 100 students[3][4]. The Jesuits maintained the building as a study centre until circa 1926[3].

Military usage

The building was requisitioned for army usage during WW2 as the Royal Army Service Corps records office.[5] Post-war, it was utilised by the military as a records office with staff from the Army Catering Corps and RASC with the ACC records and staff moving in on the 25th April 1947[6], this continuing until circa 1976.

Archaeological Finds

A Roman hoard of 92 Bronze and 52 silver coins were found at the junction of Centurion Road and Ore Place (Road) in 1989. An associated hand-made grog tempered-ware pot dating to the 1st to mid-2nd century was discovered at the same time.


References & Notes

  1. a b A Guide to Hastings & St Leonards (Thomas Ross 1835) Google Books
  2. Osborne's Visitor's Guide to Hastings and St Leonards c1854 3rd ed. Pg. 75 Google Books
  3. a b c British Newspaper Archive Hastings & St. Leonards Observer 24 July 1926 Pg. 0009
  4. Grumett, David. “Teilhard at Ore Place, Hastings, 1908-1912.” New Blackfriars, vol. 90, no. 1030, 2009, pp. 687–700. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/43251348. Accessed 16 Dec. 2020
  5. BBC Peoples War
  6. Hastings and St Leonards Observer - Saturday 26 April 1947