Royalty-free photochrom stock photo of the Lovers’ Seat cliff in Fairlight, Hastings, East Sussex, England, between 1890 and 1900. People used to perch on this cliff for photographs.
There used to be seats close by where hikers could sit and hear the story of the naming of the rock.
Around 1780 a woman named Elizabeth Boys, also known as Bessie Boys, was in love with a man, Lieutenant Lamb of Hastings, the commander of the revenue cutter that cruised between Beachy Head and Dungeness Point. Since Bessie’s family didn’t approve of the relationship, her father sent her away to Fairlight Place with friends. This didn’t keep her away from her love because she would go to edge of this cliff and signal to her lover’s boat. Mr Lamb would then come to shore to be with her.
Bessie’s father disowned her after she married Mr Lamb at the St Clements Danes church in London. They had one daughter and lived happily until Mr. Lamb died in a yachting accident in Southampton Water in 1814.
Local storytellers have their own variations of this story. One variation tells that Bessie watched from Lovers Seat as Mr Lamb’s ship sank out in the bay. Supposedly, she attemped suicide and jumped from the cliff top, not wanting to live without Mr Lamb, but her clothes caught in the gorse. A smuggler rescued her. Later, she married this man.
Another variation tells that Bessie and Lamb jump off the cliff together rather than live without being able to get married. [0003-0802-0809-3763] by 0003