The Stade Hastings has been a maritime centre for over a thousand years.
The shingle beach has always been called the Stade. The word
dates from before the 1066 battle of Hastings and means "
landing place ". The Stade was origenally a small area
between today's boating lake and coach park, but the building
of the 1887 groyne at Rock-a-Nore and the 1896 harbour stopped
shingle moving east along the coast.
The result was that the
Stade then steadily grew out to seaward, providing new room
for the fishing fleet and many amenities.
On the Stade is Britain's
biggest fleet of beach-launched fishing boats. The boats
have to be hauled out of the sea after each trip, which stops
them being more than about ten metres long. This means that
they can only carry small amounts of gear and travel just a
few miles. As a result the fleet has always fished in an
ecologically sound way.
Harbours built at Hastings have never given much shelter, so
the boats have always had to be pulled up the beach. Each vessel
has a shed containing an engine and winch, opperated by a "
boy ashore " and tractors help push the craft into the
sea, especially when the tide is low.
Harbours have been
built here since the 1500s but all have had short lives.
The current wall dates from 1896.
are many other interesting places to visit on the Stade, including
Underwater World, the Shipwreck Heritage Centre, the East Hill
Cliff Railway, the Lifeboat Station, the Coastguard Station and
access to the Country Park.