Launch of Education Pack

The Education Pack launch will take place at Friary Gardeners on Wednesday 27th February: 3.30pm – 5pm to include a tour of the church ruins.

Invitations will be sent out shortly to all schools in the Hastings area.

If you do not receive an invitation and wish to attend, please contact Bronwen Griffiths on 01424 430467 or

Downloadable educational materials, including a risk assessment form, will be available on the web-site in due course.

09 January 2013

New resources online

Various resources will shortly be on-line. David Martin’s report on the standing buildings is already available on the architecture page. We expect Chris Butler’s report on the archaeological dig to be available early in the new year.
05 December 2012

Update on the conservation work

The conservation work on the church is almost complete. The steel staircase is in place in the tower. This will allow access to the tower for maintenance and for open days in the future. The view from the top of the tower is quite magnificent – if the weather is clear.

The interior of the nave and chancel has been turfed, although at present the church is still surrounded by fencing. This will be removed in due course.

The new entrance and paths are also almost complete. Several memorials have been restored and the Crispe memorial stones, dating from the 17th century, have been placed within the tower.

23 October 2012

Heritage Open Days 8th & 9th September

The church and churchyard was opened to the public on Saturday 8th September for Heritage Open Days. We had around 180 visitors during the day and there were guided tours of the church and churchyard. The tower was also open or the day and visitors had amazing views over to Seven Sisters. We were lucky with the weather – the sun shone all day.

Visitors were able to see the conservation work in progress. Most of the re-pointing is now completed and we expect the scaffolding to come down by the end of September with the new paths established in October.

On Sunday 9th September the Reverend Chris Key led a church service in the ruins, which was attended by over 150 people. In the 19th and early 20th centuries such open air services were very popular and it was fantastic to be able to re-establish this tradition.

We would like to thank all the volunteers who helped on the day, and Friary Gardeners for opening up their facilities.

18 July 2012

Exhibition at the History House

An exhibition on the Old St Helen’s Church Conservation Project was held at the History House in Courthouse Street, Hastings from the 21st June – 22nd July 2012.

The exhibition showed a little of the history of the church and the churchyard, as well as the progress of the conservation work, including photographs of some of the finds from the community archaeological dig which took place in the nave and chancel in April 2012. 

11 June 2012

Wildlife Survey

A local cub group undertook a wildlife survey in the churchyard and grounds on a lovely sunny evening in late May. The survey was organised by Sussex Heritage Trust and run by Amie Henry from the Conservation Volunteers.  The cubs searched for insects and bugs which were then identified and recorded.

06 June 2012

Guano removed from tower

Guano is bagged up for removal from the tower

30 May 2012

Last week of the dig

30 May 2012

Thank you diggers

On behalf of the Sussex Heritage Trust we would like to say a big thank you to all those who took part in the dig and made it such a great success.
We have now uploaded some photos of the dig to this site.
You will find under the archaeology page we have created photo galleries for each of the four weeks of the dig.
The website is still being developed but if you have any comments on any aspect of the dig you can use the contact form for the time being. We are still looking at how to open up the news pages to a wider blog.

Chris Butler will be producing a summary report of the dig which we will post on the website. His final report is due in the Autumn. Our news pages will advise when this is available.

There will be an exhibition on the Old St Helen’s Church at the History House, 21 Courthouse Street, Hastings, TN34 3AU from June 21st to July 23rd. Pop in and have a look.

As part of Heritage Open Days we are planning an open day on Saturday 8 September. We will announce details nearer the time but please do come along to see how the project is progressing. There will also be an open air service held by Rev Chris Key  on Sunday the 9th September followed by a picnic. We understand that relatives of General Murray may be visiting ( his tomb is one of those uncovered during the dig)

There will also be an opening event once all the works and activities are complete and the site is ready to be handed over to Hastings Borough Council. This is likely to be in April 2013.

Meanwhile the project is moving on apace. Scaffolding has been erected to the tower and repairs works are starting.

Once again thank you for all the toil that went into the dig and we look forward to meeting with you in the future.

30 May 2012

Community Dig Week 1

The photograph shows the volunteers that joined the dig for the first week, 2-5 April 2012. More on finds later…

24 April 2012