History St Mary in the Castle was designed and constructed in 1824 when Thomas Pelham, Earl of Chichester, began proceedings for a crescent to be built incorporating a Neoclassical church nestled amongst several impressive town houses. Awarded its Grade II* listing in 1951, by 1986 St Mary was no longer used by the CofE and came close to being added to the Buildings at Risk register. Fortunately it was rescued by a local campaign which resulted in Hastings Borough Council acquiring the freehold to the building. Since this crisis St Mary in the Castle has gone from strength to strength. As one of the proudest monuments in Hastings' history, the former church re-opened as an Arts Centre in 1998, further safeguarded as such after a ten-year lease was signed in 2015.