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St Mary in the Castle is a Grade II* listed building in
Hastings. St Mary in the Castle is a grade II* listed former Church built in the Neo-Classical style. It was converted into an arts centre in 1998 after substantial refurbishment by Hastings Borough Council and English Heritage. St Mary in the Castle has played host to numerous high profile exhibitions.
The building sits as the centre piece of the delightful Pelham Crescent above the regency Pelham Arcade on Hastings Seafront. The arcade is currently undergoing works to restore it to its original form and now houses the St Mary in the Castle Restaurant. With its restored lantern roof the restaurant is a bright and welcoming space.
“Communities of Ocean Action and Living Seas”
St Mary in the Castle, Hastings
Saturday 22nd September 2018
9 : 15 Doors open. Registration.
10 : 00 Welcome by Co-Chairs of Symposium.
Health and Safety announcements.
10 : 05 Official Opening Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP
10 : 15 Welcome of Delegates by The Mayor of Hastings
10 : 20 UN Ocean Conference Video
OCEANS AND GLOBAL ISSUES
10 : 25 “UN Global Sustainable Goals; implications for our communities” by Natalie Samarasinghe, Executive Director, United Nations Association, UK.
10 : 45 “Oceans, Marine Resources and Commonwealth Nations” by Dr Nicholas Watts, Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London.
11 : 05 Discussion (Chair: John Fowler, Chairman of the United Nations Association, Bexhill and Hastings). Panelists: Natalie Samarasinghe, Dr Nicholas Watts.
11 : 35 Coffee break
12 : 05 Wildlife Trust Video 2
12 : 10 “Ocean pollution, microplastics and effects of
Climate change” Dr Tim Ferrero, Senior Specialist for Marine Advocacy, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.
12 : 20 “Marine Conservation Zones” Dr Sean Ashworth, Deputy Chief Fisheries and Conservation Officer, Sussex Inshore
Fisheries and Conservation Authority.
12 : 30 Discussion (Chair: to be confirmed)
Panelists: Dr Tim Ferrero, Dr Sean Ashworth, Dr Corina Ciocan, Lecturer in Environmental Sciences and Marine Biology,
Brighton, and Paul Linwood (Chairman of the Sussex Marine and Coastal Forum and Sewage Policy Manager, Southern Water)
13 : 00 Lunch break
14 : 00 Wildlife Trust Video 3
FISHERIES AND REGIONAL MARINE PROJECTS
14 : 05 “Blue Economy and fisheries” Dr Adriana Ford, Coordinator of the Greenwich Maritime Centre, University of Greenwich.
14: 25 Blue Marine Foundation – Morven Robertson – UK Project Manager
Hastings Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) and LIFE - Jeremy Percy – Executive Director, Low Impact Fishers of Europe (LIFE)
Announcements (new projects, partnerships, policies and initiatives)
Cleaner Ocean Foundation (Blue Growth) –
SeaVax innovation Project –
Nelson Kay – Project Manager
15 : 20 Final Round Table (Chair: Dr Sean Ashworth)
Panelists: Dr Adriana Ford, Dr Nicholas Watts, Natalie Samarasinghe, Dr Tim Ferrero, Dr Corina Ciocan and Jeremy Percy.
The Ocean Charter, Symposium Declaration, UN SDG Targets, and Future Strategy.
16 : 10 Closing Words, John Fowler, Chairman of the United Nations Association, Bexhill and Hastings
16 : 15 Symposium Closes
OCEAN SYMPOSIUM STEERING GROUP
- Gonzalo J. Alvarez – Marine Biologist - United Nations Association (Co-Chair of the Ocean Symposium)
- Sarah Ward – Marine Biologist - Living Seas Officer, Sussex Wildlife Trust (Co-Chair of the Ocean Symposium)
- Martin Fisher – CEO Rother Voluntary Action
- Dr Tim Ferrero – Senior Specialist for Marine Advocacy, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife
- Jan Cutting – Active Communities Lead, Rother Voluntary Action
United Nations Association Bexhill and Hastings
Sussex Wildlife Trust
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust
Rother Voluntary Action
Hastings Voluntary Action
ST MARY HISTORY
In 1824 the Earl of Chichester, Thomas Pelham saw an opportunity for development of his land at the bottom of the West Hill to house the ‘discriminating population’ of Hastings. He engaged Joseph Kay as architect and work began, including the excavation of a large section of the cliff face. The development would include a crescent with grand town houses overlooking the seafront, and a neoclassical fronted church as its centrepiece; beneath the crescent a shopping arcade would complete the grand design. The arcade was opened in the same year with the church being completed four years later in 1828.
In 1951 St Mary in the Castle was made a grade II* listed building and was followed by a period of decline. St Mary in the Castle was deemed surplus to requirements as a Church of England place of worship in 1970 and by 1986 was close to being put on the dangerous buildings register. After a campaign by a group of locals to save the building,
Hastings Borough Council acquired the freehold to St Mary in the
Castle and number 7 Pelham Crescent.
In 1988 the Pelham Arcade was recognised as a grade II listed building and
Heritage, with the support of the Queen Mother, embarked on plans to restore St Mary in the Castle. After extensive restoration works the building reopened as an arts centre in 1998.
In 2012 Hastings Borough Council put the lease out to tender and the proposal from Buckswood School in Guestling was approved by the council in December of that year. A charitable trust was established in 2013 and in June 2015 a ten year lease was signed by them to safeguard the future of the building as a centre for the arts.
ST MARY IN THE CASTLE
7 Pelham Crescent
Tel: 01424 715880
Venue Manager: Sean Berkley
COASTAL TOURISMRegistered Charity No. 1152523
MATERIALS: Stone and brick, cement-rendered, and lined as ashlar, stone dressings.
PLAN: The church sits in a commanding position overlooking the sea, forming the centrepiece of Pelham Crescent, which is raised above Pelham Arcade and reached by a ramp at the western end of the composition. It is set on a shallow plinth of three stone steps and over a crypt which extends southwards to the rear of Pelham Arcade. The façade is laid out as a double-depth tetrastyle Ionic portico, flanked by single entrance bays, the double depth formed by rear columns set in antis; The church is semicircular on plan, the upper level projecting over the rock face at the rear so that it is constructed of two concentric stone walls, an inner one at lower level, and an outer wall at gallery level, built into the rock. The interior of the church is laid out with a horseshoe gallery to the north overlooking a shallow rectangular three-bay sanctuary which is flanked by single bays which break forward to enclose lobbies which give access to the portico and gallery. Stairs, either side of the church, descend to a crypt, T-shaped on plan, which protrudes into the rear of the Arcade.
The double-depth tetrastyle Ionic portico, achieved by rear columns set in antis, comprises columns set on tall bases, under a pediment, with a clock. It is flanked by single entrance bays which have paired external doors, each of three raised and fielded panels, in a moulded architrave beneath a simple moulded cornice. The church is also reached by entrances in the returns at the rear of the portico. The church is lit by tall round-headed windows, which are set above a rusticated basement under the portico, and recessed between pilasters in the flanking bays; the gallery is also lit by shallow segmental headed windows. Windows have small rectangular panes and a pronounced inner frame. The simply treated attic storey disguises the belfry and to some extent the roof, more in the manner of an extended blocking course than a true attic storey. The church is enclosed by a low wrought iron screen and gates with star-shaped panels and spear head finials.
The interior of the church is laid out with a horseshoe gallery to the north overlooking a shallow rectangular three-bay sanctuary which is flanked by single bays which break forward to enclose lobbies which give access to the portico and gallery. Each lobby has a pair of doors beneath a recessed round-headed alcove which is now blind, but from late C19 photographs appears to have been open. Smaller single doors to each side give onto stone stairs with iron balusters and a moulded mahogany rail with a curtail supported on a slender columnar newel; the outer wall of the church is cut away in a moulded hemisphere to accommodate the curtail.
The lobby floor is stone-flagged. The gallery is supported on piers with corbels in the form of angels, while the gallery roof is visually supported on Corinthian columns, now marbled. The main ceiling is a complex structure, in the form of a coved horseshoe rather than a conventional dome. The ceiling is panelled and separated by heavy moulded ribs and brackets which support a rich entablature from which ribs again rise to form the framework of a partly glazed lantern. The pronounced anthemion cornice echoes the detail of the columns, while horseshoes, extant in the 1890s, are repeated in the mouldings of the frieze. The sanctuary has a separate coved panelled ceiling, while the gallery roof also has shallow moulded panels. The church has encaustic tile flooring. In the 1920s the room to the east of the main church was adapted as a baptistery, complete with a stone-lined immersion font, while the spring was converted to a grotto to commemorate the centenary of the building.
Most of the timber and plasterwork, which were suffering from rot, were removed during the 1990s refurbishment, with the exception of the panelled box pews in the upper gallery which appear to survive in their original configuration. The rear wall of the gallery is now exposed coursed stone. The sanctuary, which was restored in 1893, has a rich gilded marble reredos of round-arched and shaped panels inscribed with texts. Above it, the central window has later C19 stained glass.
Internal iron and steel stairs, original on the east and replaced to the west, descend on each side of the church to the crypt which is T-shaped on plan, and formed of dressed stone walls and brick groin-vaulted passage, similar to the arcade, with vaults to each side. Vaults to the west retain tiers of stone and lead-fronted boxes with inscribed panels. The crypt has been opened up and connected to café area by breaking through the rear of the arcade.
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1353209
English Heritage Legacy ID: 294035
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