Project 2011-2013

The Old St Helen's Church was abandoned in 1869.

The Sussex Heritage Trust acquired the church in 1991. The Trust commissioned a feasibility study for the future conservation of the Church which was completed in 2008. A condition report was commissioned from JDC architects of Eastbourne which was presented in early 2011. These documents formed the basis of an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)

The Sussex Heritage Trust was awarded a grant of �470,000 from the HLF for the conservation of the Grade 2 listed building in June 2011.

The Trust has also received financial contributions from English Heritage, the Isabel Blackman Foundation, the Ian Askew Charitable Trust and Mr and Mrs David Kowitz.

The project will consolidate the fabric of the remaining stonework to ensure the long term stability for the ruins and conserve the churchyard and its contents. Access for visitors will be improved around the site with a new entrance and an extended new internal staircase in the tower. Works to control the damage to graves by badgers will also be undertaken.These works will be complemented by a community archaeological project, new historical and ecological interpretation and programmes for other local interest groups.

The Trust have appointed JDC Architects of Eastbourne  ( to act as architects for the main repairs to the church. Chris Butler Archaeological Services ( have been appointed to act as archaeologists for the project.

The delivery of the project started at the end of August 2011 and will run through until April 2013. On completion of the project the ownership will be transferred to Hastings Borough Council.The Sussex Heritage Trust intend to put in place an ongoing management and maintenance regime to ensure the future care of the structures and churchyard.

The Activities page gives a complete breakdown of the various stages of the project. The Project Gallery provides a photographic record of the various stages of the project.