History and Architecture
Christ Church is an Anglican church in the Ore area of the town and borough of Hastings, one of six local government districts in the English county of East Sussex. It is one of three Anglican churches with this dedication in the borough. The Decorated Gothic-style church, in the centre of a village which has been surrounded by suburban development, was built in 1858 to supplement Ore’s parish church, St Helen’s. The most distinctive structural feature, a corner bell turret, has been described as both “outstanding” and “very naughty” by architectural historians.
Christ Church was listed at Grade II by English Heritage on 14 September 1976; this defines it as a “nationally important” building of “special interest”. As of February 2001, it was one of 521 Grade II listed buildings, and 535 listed buildings of all grades, in the borough of Hastings.
The ancient Cinque Port and fishing town of Hastings evolved into a seaside resort in the 19th century. The arrival of two separate railway routes from London (one via Lewes, the other via Tunbridge Wells) and improved road links helped this; the population doubled from about 11,000 a few years before these developments to 23,000 20 years later. The town, previously focused around the seafront area, grew inland, and Ore—a small linear village on the road to Rye was gradually absorbed into the urban area. It was first recorded in the early 12th century, although its Anglo-Saxon name (derived from ora, meaning a ridge or slope) suggests earlier settlement, and a parish church was built on high ground to the northwest, near Ore manor house, in the 12th century. There were a few cottages around it until the mid-19th century, but by that time the focus of Ore’s development had moved decisively to the area around the main road and Fairlight Down (assisted by the construction of a barracks at Halton and the conversion of the road to turnpike status).