A Brief History of Hastings

cb4bbcea7dc8be70cb8dd6001e909165Hastings can be found in the county of East Sussex in England’s South, overlooking the English Channel. The town is 53 miles south east of London with a population of about 90,000 and is a fishing port.

It was settled long before the arrival of William, and evidence shows that humans were present during the Bronze and Iron Age. Hastings was already a thriving port at the time of the arrival of the Romans in Britania in around 55 Before Christ. The Romans found iron deposits nearby and it became one of the largest iron mines in the Roman Empire.

Hastings became embroiled in the fight for the British Kingdoms, but in 771, King Offa of neighbouring Mercia took control of the town, even though it continued to be regarded as a separate county. It seems that Hastings had managed to secure some independence from Mercia, but had to give up land in exchange for such privileges.

The seat of Southern English power began to shift towards Hastings in the 900s and during the reign of King Athelstan, coins were minted at Hastings’ Royal Mint, which was built in 928 AD.

They were violent times and the Vikings overran the South Coast, including Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Haestigas, as it was known at the time. It was eventually being reabsorbed into a resurgent Saxon Kingdom.

Once the invasion became a settlement programme, Hastings became on of the five most important ports in England. It then went into decline after being destroyed by a massive flood in 1287. Repeated naval incursions by the French in the 1300s led to Hastings being largely abandoned as a meaningful port.

After that, things became quite sedate in this part of the world and Hastings gradually evolved into a fishing village. The arrival of the railway line in the 1800s saw a substantial influx of tourism.