Although I’ve been on the East Hill, Hastings many times in my life, I’ve never really thought about it’s history, despite there being the remains of an Iron Age fort sat right on top of it. Whilst researching something interesting to write about the East Hill, I found this 2008 survey by English Heritage which provided me with far more information than I expected. Needless to say nothing world changing has ever occurred there, but the hill has been used in various ways across the centuries.
The picture above shows the beacon which is lit every October during Hastings Week by the Hastings Borough Bonfire Society. I stands on a barely noticeable mound, which apparently was once the site of a round barrow. According to the survey this place was used for burials in Iron Age times. Occasionally bones are found on the beach below after parts of the hill slip into the sea.
The view above has been photographed for over 100 years. It is interesting to make the comparison between the two photographs and see the changes that time brings.
As the sun rose, the windows of houses began to reflect it which I have tried to capture here. You can just make out the shadow of the East Hill in the lower right part of the picture.
Here is the Iron Age fort. It has probably had many uses in it’s time, but it is now used for barbeques and underage drinking sessions. You can get a better idea of how the fort is laid out from the overhead picture found in the English Heritage survey on page 9.