Hastings Castle is positioned high above the seafront and has been partially destroyed by cliff erosion along its S side. The chief remains are the N and E curtain walls with an E gatehouse and bastion. The collegiate church of St Mary within the castle is in ruins. There is no Romanesque sculpture in situ.
The first masonry defences seem to have been erected by Count Robert of Eu in the late 11thc., and the church is thought to have been begun before 1094. The property was granted to Sir Anthony Browne in 1547. Excavations were carried out by William Herbert in 1824 for the owner, the Earl of Chichester, and the first comprehensive description was published by Charles Lawson in 1909.
In 1862, William Durrant Cooper and Thomas Ross noted 'a Norman capital or two' in the custodian's room (Sussex Archaeological Collections 14, 1862, 66). The present whereabouts of these capitals is not known.
F.H. Baring, 'Hastings Castle, 1050-1100, and the Chapel of St Mary', Sussex Archaeological Collections, 57, 1915, 119-35.
W.D. Cooper and T. Ross, 'Notices of Hastings and its Municipal Rights', Sussex Archaeological Collections, 14, 1862, 65-118.
Victoria County History: Sussex. 9 (Rape and Honour of Hastings). 1937, 15-19.