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The Stag is the oldest pub still open in Hastings. Standing in an elevated position on the eastward side of All Saints Street, Hastings Old Town, with whitewashed walls and oak beams, the pub dates from 1547. It has a wealth of oak beams, winding passages and stairways. The front is in Georgian style, added by the Victorians. There are inglenook fireplaces and a secret passage, filled in around forty years ago, that possibly, led to All Saints churchyard.
There are two bars. The front is the most commonly used and features the famous “mummified” cats. More correctly smoke dried cats, they were found in a chimney on the first floor during the 1940s. Until the 1980’s they hung from the corner of the metal work above the bar. Due to their fragile state it was decided to rehouse them in their current abode in a custom made wooden case. There is no historical evidence, but it is popularly believed they belonged to Hannah Clarke, a witch, who is said to have occupied the Stag in the earlier part of its existence.
Outside, at the rear, is the designated smoking area, a patio and a further two tiers of a steeply inclined garden. The middle tier features picnic tables whilst the top tier features a newly planted orchard with a bower and a large wicker man.
During the summer months the garden attracts many visitors. It is not suitable as a children’s play area, due to its steepness, and for the same reason food is not served above the patio level.
For entertainment, Monday nights are informal quiz nights. Tuesdays are an open English Folk session which has been in existence for over forty years. Bluegrass music on Wednesdays, and shanty singing with the Hastings Shanty Singers on Thursdays. Other bands are occasionally booked for the weekends. Friday, Saturday and Sunday the Stag becomes more food orientated with the bars reverting to a traditional atmosphere of quiet chatter amongst friends.
14 All Saints Street, Hastings, East Sussex. TN34 3BJ
14 All Saints Street, Hastings, East Sussex. TN34 3BJ. UK
Every Monday 8.30pm