Arthur Green's Antiques Centre 
Come and see our Grade II Listed Victorian Shop 
Home      Our Grade II Listed Victorian Shop
 

 
Our Grade II Listed Victorian Shop
 

Why not come and see our lovely Grade II Listed Victorian shop which was built in 1885 and is part of the Grade II Listed Palace Court building?

The shop is located at 34 White Rock, opposite the old Ice Rink building, and is one of Hastings’ best preserved Victorian shops. For over 100 years from 1904 to the mid 2000s, it was a smart Gentlemen’s Outfitters and Tailoring shop and it is still filled with the beautiful mahogany Victorian fixtures and fittings of that time.

The height of the whole Palace Court building, with its tall, slate, mansard roofs and the use of terracotta and decorative metalwork are more suggestive of a French chateau and of contemporary French domestic architecture than of a British seafront building.  plat scelerisque



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Exterior and Interior features:

Arthur Green’s Antiques Centre, formerly for over 100 years a Gentlemen's Outfitters and Tailoring shop, has canted plate-glass shop windows either side of a central entrance, all under deep over-lights with small-paned leaded lights and ornate spandrels. The threshold is tiled in black, white and terracotta mosaic and is inscribed ‘Arthur Green‘. The whole interior of the shop is lined with mahogany shelves, cupboards and counters, the front sets having engaged shafts, pierced cornices, and swan-necked pediments labelled SHIRT TAILORS and SILK AND FELT HATS. The rear set have richer mouldings, twisted shafts and a pediment inscribed HOSIERY. The cashier's booth, which is similar to the rear set, has shafts with splayed caps at the angles, raised panels and a blind scrolled oval panel over the cornice. There are also freestanding shelves remaining in the shop. All of these original features are still in use.

Arthur Green’s shop was awarded Grade II Listing because of its Intactness (intact shop-front and interior fittings), Rarity (unusual survival of shop interior) and Historic Interest (hotel and shops built by a hotel chain as a speculative response to the expansion of Hastings as a seaside resort in the later C19).

 
An anecdotal comment left by ‘Peter’ on 23rd August 2011 on the British Listed Buildings website said:

“I love this building, particularly Arthur Green’s, which remains a beautiful shop as originally fitted.

Only in recent years has Arthur Green’s passed ownership away from the original family owners and their descendants. I bought a suit in this shop in 2002 from an elderly Mr Green who was still selling products/suit cloth he had brought into stock in the 1960s and 1970s!! He did tell me but I can’t be sure if he was 3rd or 4th generation.

He told me of the 'halcyon days' during which there were many staff in a relatively small shop - specialists in Hats, Garters, Shirts, several tailors etc etc and a permanent staff in accounts in the shop maintaining ledgers of all their customers’ accounts as they took weekly payments across the glass cashiers’ counter (akin to a bank counter). He had worked in the store since he was a boy.

One of the walls was adorned with a large faded picture of a glamorous woman of the 1910s/1920s who was a performer of some success and was at one time the landlady for the shop in decades past. Whether she owned more of the Palace Court too I don’t know.

What fascinates me about this shop is that its story closely mirrors that of the town of Hastings as a whole. Success and wealth, followed by a period of steady decline most evident from the 1970s to the 1990s. Now the town has several ghostly remnants of its glorious past, and this building is one of them.

What the future holds for the town and its architectural heritage remains to be seen, but the fact that this building is now listed is a positive in my opinion!”


History of the Shop:

The shop was built, as part of the Palace Hotel, in 1885 by architect Arthur Wells on the site of a former brewery for the Spiers and Ponds Group (who also built the Holborn Viaduct Hotel in London). The Palace Hotel was later converted to luxury seaside apartments, renamed Palace Chambers and then finally renamed Palace Court in 1995.

Arthur Green, a Gentlemen's Outfitters, was established in 1904 taking over from an art dealer who had, in turn, taken-on the shop from the wine and spirit merchants Gray and Company, who had owned the former brewery that was on the same site.

After trading for 100 years, our lovely Grade II Listed Victorian shop sadly closed in the mid-2000s and subsequently remained empty for over 3 years.

The shop was leased to Hastings Pier and White Rock Trust (HPWRT) on 1st January 2010.

In the first few months of 2010 Meanwhile Space worked alongside the Council’s Retail Vitality scheme and supported a wide range of projects jointly, one of which helped bring Arthur Green’s shop back to be in a fit state to open again.

On 18th April 2010 Hastings Pier and White Rock Trust opened the shop for use as their interim Pier Information Centre and retail space pending their acquisition and redevelopment of the Pier itself. The Trust used the base to engage with local people and develop successful new products like their historic railway posters and having space for artists.

On 23rd April 2010 the shop was given Grade II listing by English Heritage [English Heritage Building ID: 507360] as part of the listing entitled Palace Court Including Former Arthur Green,34 White Rock, Hastings (please see the full details of the Grade II Listing).

From 24th February 2012 to 29th June 2012 an installation by Kathleen Mullaniff and Eugene Palmer called ‘Journey’ was exhibited in the shop as part of the Coastal Currents Visual Arts Festival. The sculptural illustration used ‘found’ objects, ephemera and drawings; the subject and content having been derived from the history of the site.

On 27th July 2012, Arthur Green’s re-opened once more as Arthur Green’s Antiques Centre and was formally opened by MP Amber Rudd and featured in the news section of her website.
 
 


 

If you have anything that you can add to the history of Arthur Green’s shop for inclusion on this website, please send it to us by post or email it to webmaster@arthurgreensantiquescentre.com where it will be gratefully received and the website updated.

 
 

Arthur Green’s Antiques Centre, 34 White Rock, Seafront, HASTINGS TN34 1JY   Tel: 01424 439372

 If you find anything wrong with this website such as spelling or grammatical mistakes or broken links, please contact the webmaster@arthurgreensantiquescentre.com