Once a smugglers haven and currently a fishermens delight, Hastings Old Town (Home to John Bray & Sons) is an area in Hastings with the extent of the town dating prior to the nineteenth century. It lies mainly within the eastern-most valley of the current town, nestled between the East and West Hill. The shingle beach known as The Stade (the old Saxon term meaning “landing place”) is home to the biggest beach-launched fishing fleet in Britain.
Many events take place every year in the old town such as the Hastings Old Town Week, Jack In The Green, the Seafood and Wine Festival, and the Bonfire Procession. Many of these events are centred on Winkle Island, which is, at the same time, the gathering place of the renowned Winkle Club.
Hastings Old Town attracts a significant number of tourist all year round, supporting local restaurants, cafe’s and indepdent retail spaces down George Street and up the High Street. Hastings Old Town is home to John Bray & Sons, the most renown estate agent for this area.
Until 1800, Hastings was confined to the Bourne Valley between the large unspoilt open areas of the East and West Hills. Originally this town (Hastings Old Town) had just two main streets, High Street and All Saints’ Street, which were divided by the Bourne Stream. In Victorian times part of the Bourne Stream was covered and named Bourne Walk and in the 1960s the Old Town was split completely in two by the modern road.
All types of architectural design, from medieval to Victorian, jostle for attention in the Old Town. The two oldest churches, All Saints’ and St Clement’s, are the only survivors of the seven churches which used to stand in Hastings in medieval times. From All saints cottages to the Takleway fishermens houses, the Old Town is home to an array of period properties.