With over 175 years of history behind it, the Grade II listed St Mary in the Castle stands as one of Hastings’ finest monuments. This magnificent Georgian church, with its unique circular auditorium, was designed by the famous architect Joseph Kaye in 1823 for the Earl of Chichester.
St Mary in the Castle now includes an impressive theatre space with semi-circular seating for 500 people, and a large cinema screen. The theatre can be hired for visual and performing art events; there are also three meeting rooms and a music practice room available during the day or evening. The café has been refurbished and will be open daily from 10.30am to 2.30pm Monday to Friday and 10.30am to 4.30pm Saturday and Sunday. The meeting rooms can be hired (for up to 20 people) when the café is closed.
Redundant of years it was taken over by a Christian Faith of the Sonrise Church who opened up the church for exhibitions and re-decorated it. They were forced to vacate after a hate campaign that the council likened to the French Revolution from local residents and an arts group. It was claimed that the church was homophobic.
Now an Arts Centre it is accessed by means of a cafe on the lower street level direct into the crypt which now houses exhibitions.