Hastings White Rock Indoor Baths – 1876. Under the promenade.

Hastings White Rock Baths - image enlarge +

Hastings White Rocks BathsHastings White Rock Baths had a peppered history.

Hastings White Rock Baths had a peppered history.

This was due to continual refurbishment and change of use. This demonstrated  importance to the community,  and a somewhat very cherished epitome of the past.

Hastings White Rock Baths had a peppered history.  This was due to continual refurbishment and change of use. This demonstrated importance to the community,  and a somewhat very cherished epitome of the past.

Hastings White Rock Baths were built on land claimed back from the sea.   (Rather like Southampton Central Baths and Docks).

The foundation stone was laid on 27th June 1876 by Thomas Brassey.  He later became Earl Brassey.  A team of architects, being Messrs Cross, Wells, Jeffrey and Skiller drew up the plans and it would cost a sum of £60,000 to build.

What appeared to be built in underground space from the promenade,  there were to be three Baths.

Hastings White Rock Baths Down under the prom - image

Down to the entrance  East Sussex Reference Library 2014

Two years later – 1878 – the first portion – the Gentleman’s Bath – was opened by Earl Brassey in May 1878.  This was followed by the main bath just days later on 31st May.    The Ladies Bath opened the next year on 18th July 1879,   according to the Hastings Observer and News.

Interesting note There was a gathering of the hierarchy here on the Opening Day of St Leonard’s Open Air Swimming Pool – 1933!

Turkish Baths

Hastings White Rock Baths - Turkish Baths Past and Present - image

Past and Present – Click to enlarge East Sussex Reference Library  enlarge + 2014

Very informative description of White Rock Turkish Baths here.  Author Malcolm Shifrin 

The Baths Cinema

Hastings White Rocks Baths Cinema Days - image

The Baths Cinema.  East Sussex reference Library  enlarge + 2014


In February 1913    part of the Baths was operated as a cinema until March 1915.

The Baths slowly became almost derelict during the 1920s – 25 and were taken over by Hastings Borough.

Hastings White Rock Baths Underneath the Prom - image enalrge+

Underneath the Prom  East Sussex Reference Library enlarge + 2014


Money was poured into a restorative project and the Baths were given a further lease of life and re-opened on 27th June 1932.  This was following  major reconstruction.

By 1970 there had been need for further major repairs costing £5000 and  they were  re – opened again in June 1970 

Ice Rink

According to the Hastings Observer in November 1974 Hastings White Rock Baths were to have a new look.  it would be opened as an ice rink. There was also a proposed  new roof in 1985.

The Hastings Observer reports that it survived as an ice rink until 1997 since when it slowly started to decay.

Hastings White Rock Baths Past and Present enlarge + image

Past and Present – enlarge+  East Sussex Reference Library 2014


Hastings White Rock Baths East Sussex Historical Photos - image

East Sussex Historical Photos East Sussex Reference Library 2014


At this point in time the site is derelict.

Hastings White Rock Baths - See Approved Plans - imageSee Plans

See Plans  East Sussex Reference Library 2014




More pictures  by courtesy of Hastings East Sussex Ref. Library Zoe Edwards 2014

There are mixed opinions regarding the plans for a BMX and Skateboarding Park

Reference Base –  East Sussex Reference Library

Erected 1876-79 by a limited company on land reclaimed from the sea, at a cost of £60,000.
Architects: Messrs Cross, Wells, Jeffery and Skiller.

28 Jun 1876 foundation stone was laid by Thomas Brassey [later to be Earl Brassey].
28 May 1878 first portion, including Gentlemen’s Swimming Bath, opened by Thomas Brassey [later Earl Brassey]. Opening of main baths. Hastings News 31 May 1878; Hastings Observer 1jun1878 p6

Opening of ladies bath. Hastings News 18 Jul 1879.
Part of the Baths was briefly operated as a cinema – the Baths Cinema 20 Feb 1913-Mar 1915.

The Baths became almost derelict in the 1920s
1925 were taken over by Hastings Borough.
Reconstruction and improvements took place.
27 Jun 1931 the baths re-opened.

Major reconstruction in 1932. Hastings Observer 11 Jun 1932 p16

Re-opened 3 Jun 1970. Hastings Observer 6 Jun 1970 p8

£5,000 needed for repairs. Hastings Observer 25 May 1974 p14
Hastings Observer 23 Nov 1974 p1

Dec 1980: reopens as an ice rink

Proposed new look. Hastings Observer 7 Nov 1985 p3 illus; Hastings News 7 Nov 1985 p2
Proposed new roof. Hastings Observer 21 Aug 1986 p23 illus.
Artists impression of site. Hastings News 2 Jul 1987 p3 illus.

Sep 1997: closes as an ice rink. Hastings Observer 26 Sep 1997  p4

More inklings about this extraordinary subway pool ?

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Hastings White Rock Baths - Snippet 12 sdi - image