Land that once was sea in the days of the last Anglo-Saxon king of England, Harold Godwinson, and the Conqueror William, became the location for the historic Hastings Rock Fairs and site of the famous declaration of independence that gives the America Ground its name. The Alley is what remains of that ‘derelict’ land.
Lately it has once again become a site for celebration – for weddings, parties, fêtes and storytelling.
It is an ‘unadopted’ space where the owners of adjacent buildings have legal rights and responsibilities but where for a long time there has been no coordinated management, meaning that it tends to attract rubbish, rats and pigeons, as well as nuisances of other sorts.
Without any one group having responsibility for it there was a risk that it would go the way of the Rock Fairs and be closed off and lost to the community.
So, in 2018, legal owners, tenants, neighbours and other interested individuals came together to form an informal group we call The Alley Association that exists only to enhance The Alley and ensure it remains for the benefit of everyone who lives in Hastings.
Website photo credits: Alex Brattell, John Cole, Margaret Sheehy and Hastings Library.