Peter Jenkins (1840-1899)

From Historical Hastings

Peter Jenkins was born in 1840 in Guestling[1], and moved to London before returning to Hastings and starting a business as a builder. During the course of his career, he built a vast number of properties including most of the Bulverhythe area leading to the area being known locally as 'Jenkins Town'. [2]

He had a number of premises in the West St Leonards area including the Grosvenor Works which suffered a devastating fire in 1883 and 20 Caves Road, employing up to 500 people and lived at nearby Wyncliffe, 58 West Hill Road.[2]

Construction work

In addition to his building much of West St Leonards including St Leonards Church, he built the Deluxe Cinema and during 1866 following his purchase of the building, constructed a short-lived swimming pool and public baths in the basement of the St. Leonards Assembly Rooms. Other construction works include reservoirs at Maze Hill, Shornden, the sea wall from St Leonards Church to Grosvenor Gardens[3] and Halton, and was building a further reservoir at at the time of his death on the 27 June 1899. He rebuilt the East Sussex Club (on the corner of Warrior Square and Grand Parade), and erected the drill halls at Rock-a-Nore and Middle Street.[4][5]

He made all his bricks in nine brickyards around Sidley & Guestling, and reportedly aimed to make between ten and eleven million bricks during one season at the peak in production. There would be three and a half million bricks required for the new Workhouse.[2][5]


He was the largest ratepayer in the borough for a period, being assessed for 200 houses and left over £160,000 in his will[6]. The family grave is in Hastings Cemetery at plots BJ11 & BJ12.[4]

References & Notes