St. Mary's Road

From Historical Hastings
St. Mary's Road

Some nine of the houses were built in 1879 by George Weeks[1], the rest of the road being built in phases between 1873 and 1899 with construction appearing to start from the Milward Road end - a tenanted corner property with adjoining buildings being placed on the market for sale in 1880[2]. Numbering of the road, together with the nearby roads in what was then known as the Mount Pleasant Building Estate towards the West Hill took place in 1880 - it being noted that a number of plots were still empty in all of the roads and the numbering scheme was to make provision for these[3]. Properties number 52 to 60 have mews garages beneath them, accessible via a lane between numbers 49 and 52. This mews was known in 1893 as "St Mary's Road Mews", these being auctioned as a block including what the advertisement referred to as 'stores, yard and stabling' in a sale at the Castle Hotel by Mr. Walter Parks on the 16th of November 1921[4]. One of the shops in the road was offered for sale as part of a lot by B. Pomfret & Co. of 26 Havelock Road in June 1896[5].

Numbers 48, 49 and 50 were demolished during WW2 in 1940 as a result of enemy action[6], and rebuilt as two houses numbering 48 and 49[7], as was number 51, this subsequently becoming the entrance to the mews[8].

Numbers 61 to 63 were destroyed in an air raid during WW2 and a larger, detached property was rebuilt post-war - number 63, the remaining gap being filled by a garage/workshop accessed via the mews.

In 1889, there was a school for 'Young Ladies and Kindergarten' in the large detached house on the southern end at number 78 - Tower House College; the school being run by Mrs. Dey[9]. This property was subsequently offered at auction through Walter Parks, Tharle & Co. Ltd of 51 Havelock Road by the executors of Miss Johnston, the sale including the property contents in February 1929[10].

Murder of Charles Levett

On the 26th of June 1971, Mr. Charles Levett was murdered at his home, 18 St. Mary's Road, being stabbed 14 times by two brothers from Eastbourne. Keith Robert Langham and Alan David had been at his home watching a television program with their Swedish girlfriends and proceeded to kill him following the show. The attack was so ferocious that no less than four kitchen knives were broken[11]. Both brothers were sentenced to life imprisonment at Lewes Assize in November of that year, however launched an appeal the following year with an unusual reason - their barrister claimed that the judge had fallen asleep during parts of their hearings. The appeal was dismissed by the panel of three judges - them ruling that if this had indeed happened, surely one of the barristers or other court officials would have taken some action at the time[12].

Personal Recollections

Growing up in the road during the 1970s, I recall that the road was well served by shops; there being the 'Corner Shop' - a general store on the corner opposite the Lord Warden public house (actually 72 Manor Road), and 'Mrs Manley's' at number 74 - more of a sweet shop. The corner shop dispensed paraffin for heaters that served also to boil a kettle at a push from a machine situated up the steps leading into the flat above the shop. In terms of other stores, these were either at The Langham; accessed via the railway pedestrian bridge and a twitten leading to Mount Pleasant Road. Here could be found a pharmacy, butchers, post office and greengrocers store. In the opposite direction through the twitten leading to Manor Road and up the twitten steps to St. George's Road, where was a chinese takeaway, butchers, post office and other stores. Public houses were well represented - the aforementioned Lord Warden (a regular haunt of Town Crier Ray Goode) and, at the opposite end of the road, The Manor. Prior to the one way system around Manor Road and St. Mary's Road, buses served the residents in both directions, either down into the town, or up towards Ore. Following this, buses could only be obtained into town[13].


Features in St. Mary's Road

Name Street No From To

References & Notes