In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Hastings like this:
Hastings.-- parl. and mun. bor., watering-place, market town, and one of the Cinque Ports, E. Sussex, 34 miles E. of Brighton and 62 miles SE. of London - parl. bor. 3690 ac., pop. 47,619; mun. bor., 1826 ac. and 355 foreshore, pop. 42,258; Cinque Port, 17,855 ac., pop. 46,185; 3 Banks, 8 newspapers. Market-day, Saturday; a place of great importance in ancient times; the site of the original town is supposed to be covered by the sea. William the Conqueror landed in the vicinity and fought the famous battle of Hastings - October 14th, 1066 - at the place called Battle, 6 miles NW. ...
Most of the town lies in a well-sheltered hollow sloping towards the sea. St Leonards is joined to it by a. row of terraces and parades. The reputation of Hastings as a watering-place was first established about the beginning of the present century, and its trade is mostly connected with the supplies required by visitors; there are also coast fisheries, and some boatbuilding and lime-burning. The bor. returns 1 member to Parliament; it returned 2 members until 1885, when its parl. limits were reduced by the exclusion of 2 detached parts, viz., Petit Iham and the Liberty of the Sluice.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Hastings has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Hastings. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Hastings and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Hastings in Sussex | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 22nd September 2014
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