Dating in east sussex
Hastings was shown as a borough by the time of the Domesday Book (1086); it had also given its name to the Rape of Hastings, one of the six administrative divisions of Sussex.As a borough, Hastings had a corporation consisting of a "bailiff, jurats, and commonalty".During a naval campaign of 1339, and again in 1377, the town was raided and burnt by the French, and seems then to have gone into a decline. Hastings had suffered over the years from the lack of a natural harbour, and there have been attempts to create a sheltered harbour.Attempts were made to build a stone harbour during the reign of Elizabeth I, but the foundations were destroyed by the sea in terrible storms.Symeon of Durham records a battle fought at an unidentified location near Hastings in 771, at which Offa defeated the Haestingas tribe, effectively ending its existence as a separate kingdom.By 790, Offa controlled Hastings effectively enough to confirm grants of land in Hastings to the Abbey of St Denis, in Paris.
Symeon of Durham records the victory of Offa in 771 over the Hestingorum gens, that is, "the people of the Hastings tribe.", Hastingleigh in Kent was named after that tribe.
By the end of the Saxon period, the port of Hastings had moved eastward near the present town centre in the Priory Stream valley, whose entrance was protected by the White Rock headland (since demolished).
It was to be a short stay: Danish attacks and huge floods in 10 motivated the townspeople to relocate to the New Burgh.
The settlement was already based on the port when the Romans arrived in Britain for the first time in 55 BC.
At this time, they began to exploit the iron (Wealden rocks provide a plentiful supply of the ore), and shipped it out by boat.