Hastings in the 1600’s

Very little work was undertaken until 1611 when it was decided to repair what remained of the pier. Again the whole town was called upon to contribute and anyone failing to do so when required would be fined 12d. Finances remained an issue and in 1617 the catch allowance for the fishing fleet was doubled with 25% going towards the repair of the pier. Further funds were raised by imposing a 12d tax on every tun of beer half of which went towards the pier. However work was sporadic and came to a halt in 1621.

The last attempt during this period to provide the town with a decent harbour began in 1635. Henrich Cranhalls, a renowned Dutch engineer, was brought in to determine the location and method of construction but this time rather than focusing on the stade, the plan called for the provision of a safe haven at the site of the former Saxon port inPrioryValley. Cranhalls suggested it was possible to build a harbour that could be used by ships of 400 tons or more and provide shelter to 200 or more vessels. However he estimated that the cost to be around £220,000 (ca. £19m today). This vast expense meant that King Charles I was petitioned in 1636 in the hope of securing the necessary funding.

There were many promises of assistance. The Company of Fishmongers offered to give £300 and loan £3000 until more funds were available. However the provision of funds was generally lacking and in 1656 a winter storm washed away what remained of the Elizabethan harbour wall and all work was brought to a halt. So after almost a century of trying, the efforts of the town had come to naught.