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    Fairlight
(Firehills and Views)


Name Derivation

General Details

 Looking over the Channel.
Three miles to the east of Hastings, off the A259, Fairlight consists of a few old coastguard cottages, a church and a collection of modern seaside houses straggling downhill to Fairlight cove.

The lane down by the church leads to the Hastings Country Park, which stretches for 5 miles from Fairlight to Hastings, this is known as the Firehills by the locals due to the number of gorse fires occuring in the height of summer. Its unspoilt sandstone cliffs tumble down to the sea, broken only by gorse and tree-covered glens. This is a fine vantage point from which could once be seen 70 Martello towers, 66 churches, 40 windmills, 5 castles and 3 bays!

In the last century, a wreck (probably a smuggling vessel) under the cliffs left many bodies and casks of spirits lying on the shore. The sole survivor was a young lad found clinging to the rocks, raving mad. News of the wreck sent scores of men rushing to the beach to raid the casks. It was recorded that some of the men literally drank themselves to death, and lay with other corpses on the beach.

St Andrews church was built in 1845, it has a tall tower that serves as a landmark from the countryside inland, as well as from the sea. Amongst the tombs in the churchyard are those of Richard D'Oyly Carte, the founder of the Gilbert and Sullivan opera company and Thomas Attwood Walmisley (1814 - 1856), who became Professor of Music at Cambridge at the tender age of 22. He was a great friend of Mendlessohn, and edited several of the composers scores.


Services

 The tower of the church.
An infrequent Hastings to Rye bus route passes through the village.

The nearest station is in Hastings, with an hourly journey to London, Eastbourne and Ashford . The nearest local station is at Winchelsea on the Ashford line.

The main shopping centre is Hastings about 4 miles West.


Views

Fairlight has some of the most magnificent views in the area. Start by parking in the Country Park, and walk down to the Coastguard Station.

Look to the East over the Dungeness marshes, on a good day you can see Hythe. The Dungeness Power station is very imposing, even though it is about 20 miles away. Due South on a clear day it is possible to see the French coast.

If you are a naturist, the areas only nudist beach is between Fairlight and Hastings, in a secluded cove.

The Firehills footpath walk to Hastings is very beautiful and enjoyable.

The tower of St Andrews Church is open to the public at weekends in May and June and every day in July and August this is well worth a visit as the views from the top are some of the best in the South East of England. If the weather is clear it is possible to view the cliff tops in Northern France.

 
       
 
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