St. Leonards-on-Sea — First Impressions

On the corner of London Road and Pevensey Road, you will find the former Congregational Church, built in 1863. Today it’s for sale. The asking price is £200,000.  “Many original features have been retained including organ, pews, altar and vestibule located in the main church area which is on the first floor and has a mezzanine level overlooking the congregation area. The building can be accessed from London Road and Pevensey Road. The London Road side provides access to an open plan ground floor, which is considered suitable for a variety of uses including, perhaps, a market with stalls, subject to all the necessary consents being obtainable. On the Pevensey Road side there is a former scout hut/store for which Planning Permission has been sought for change of use to a cafe. To the north west of the building there is a separate entrance leading to a one bedroom unit, which has many period features and is considered to have scope for conversion into a two/three bedroom unit, subject to all necessary consents being obtainable. To the south of the church there is the main tower which has its own entrance and is arranged as a small chapel with upper floors and, again, has potential for residential conversion, subject to all necessary consents being obtainable.”

St. Leonards United Reformed Church, London Road, founded in 1863

This is the chuch before the loss of its copper spire, which was damaged in the Great Storm of 1987.  

Christ Church, on the corner of London Road and Silchester Road. It was built between 1878 and 1881 in the Early English Gothic style by Sir Arthur Blomfield.

St. Mary Magdalen Church in Church Road, here viewed from Warrior Square Gardens. The church was built in 1852 by Frederick Marrable; bought by the Greek Orthodox community in 1982.


Warrior Square was developed for housing between the 1850s and 1870s, on the site of the Warrior Field. In 1852 it was reported in the Hastings & St. Leonards News that the gardens were open to the public with band concerts three times a week. In 1902 the Hastings Corporation acquired a strip of land on the beach side of Lower Warrior Square Gardens so they could erect a memorial statue to Queen Victoria. This was unveiled in January 1903 and in 1920 the corporation acquired all the Lower Gardens, but the Upper Gardens weren’t open to the public until 1930. “Warrior”, as in Warrior Square, does not necessarily mean “soldier”, as the term was used in Hastings to describe smugglers.

Upper Warrior Square Gardens.

The Grand Parade, looking toward Warrior Square.

Same position, just a little bit to the right, so you can see Hastings Pier.

Opposite direction: we’re looking to the west and the Marine Court.

The coastline to the west of St. Leonards-on-Sea, on a clear day.

These are the famous “sun-catchers” on Lower Grand Parade.

London Road, viewed from Grand Parade.

London Road. On the left Christ Church, on the right Kings Road, with lots of charity shops.

Upper Norman Road, viewed from London Road. Interesting street with lovely antique shops, second hand shops, and art galleries. At the top of this street you’ll find the Horse and Groom, the oldest pub of St. Leonards.

About Jack Vanderwyk

Hey! What am I like! :-)
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