Our adventure started in what's known as 'the old town' and we took the opportunity to have a look round the Parish Church which we've walked past many times but had never found it open before. We were fortunate because there was a toddler group in there in a specially built inner area surrounded by glass. They were having a singalong/baby-dance type session and both mums & babies looked as if they were having great fun.
As we walked through the door my eye was drawn immediately to this amazing modern stained glass window behind the altar:
As I approached I saw these delightful kneelers. I have a whole load of photos of kneelers from various churches we've visited but I think these are some of my favourites. They're so bright and modern:
There were many more beautiful windows but I've just selected 2 more of the modern ones to share:
Then I spotted this smaller one in an alcove and next to it was a plaque:
Having had a good luck round we then headed onwards and upwards towards the remains of Hastings Castle. We knew it wouldn't be open to look around but we were looking forward to the views from on high.
|We followed the road past the side of the church|
|Through a narrow twitten (Mike posing for scale) adjacent to Harpsichord House, which has a wooden floor and you can hear the occupants moving around above you as you pass through!|
|Up several flights of steps and along a tarmac path to a good vantage point for viewing the town below|
|Fishing boats next to the relatively new Jerwood Gallery (more on that later)|
|Looking towards East Hill Lift, a funicular railway. We had intended to have a ride up and down it later but decided to walk up the hill instead!|
|You could hardly tell where the sea ended and the sky began as it was quite misty first thing|
|I took this photo when we were nearing the top. This building had always fascinated us as when viewed from the town below it looked like a very grand house or hotel........|
|....so we were disappointed to find it is now a collection of separate dwellings and wasn't at all grand when we got close!|
It was rather steep but the views were well worth the effort:
|There were several of these footprints in special paving slabs which we guessed must be part of a tourist trail|
|The view from the halfway point looking towards The Stade, a shingle beach (the tall black wooden sheds are used by fishermen to store their nets etc)|
|Looking back to where we'd been earlier|
|That's the church we visited earlier|
|I loved this giant crown and the pub looked very nice inside|
The next few photos are of a house which has been photographed by many tourists who think that it is really old, but it isn't! I remember seeing an article in a magazine ages ago about the man who constructed it using salvaged materials. I absolutely love it and each time we visit I always look to see if he's added anything else.
|Aha, 2 lions have appeared atop the gateposts|
|See how well it sits with the genuinely old houses along the street.|
|That huge stained glass window came from a church|
Finally we reached the Jerwood Gallery and crossed over to see if the exhibition was of interest. John Bratby (Everything but the Kitchen Sink) and John Piper (An Eye for the Modern). Ooh yes please!
You aren't allowed to take photos of the paintings but I was allowed to take some photos of this installation by Heywood & Condie of a greenhouse constructed from 18th and 19th Century stained glass. Here's the plaque about it:
|There were mirrors on the floor & lights in the corners and I imagine it must look very pretty when illuminated at night|
The Bratby exhibition was interesting as he really did capture the essence of his subjects, and we especially enjoyed his portraiture. His use of paint was extraordinary when you saw the thickness of it in close-up. There was an eclectic mix of subject matter, curated using many paintings from private collectors - he lived in Hastings for a while and so many local people bought his work.
John Piper's work always delights me and it was great to see a wide range including several abstracts alongside his ecclesiastical works. The best bit for me was his foliate head tapestry (this link shows a similar example although the one in this exhibition was nicer).
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit and I asked one of the staff if I could take a photo on the landing upstairs as it's a lovely feature, bringing the outside into the whole experience of your visit:
|From the end of the corridor|
|Looking down on the world outside|
But you're a vegetarian Susie! Indeed I am but do not fear there was something for me there too. Whilst Mike tucked into his fish and chips, I had chips with mushy peas (which we shared) and curry sauce (of which we had to have our own portion or there would have been an undignified squabble!). I have to confess that I didn't hold up much hope for the chips as last time we had them from a chip shop they were all soggy and horrid. But oh my goodness those chips were lovely: all golden and crispy and fresh. Plus I managed to get a pot of green tea and the lady served us with the biggest smile and even brought us some more hot water to top up our pots without us asking.
|A nod to the Bayeux Tapestry (which as we all know isn't a tapestry, it's embroidered!)|
|Seagulls standing patiently waiting for an eating opportunity!|
|Fresh fish for sale (there's been a lot on the local News recently about fish claimed to have been caught locally having been caught elsewhere!)|
|The upturned hull of a boat used as a small shop|
|The entrance to the East Hill Lift|
|Looking towards a new development of a business unit with apartments above, again designed to echo the style of the huts on The Stade|
|This tree always makes me smile for it's sheer determination to grow in completely the wrong place!|