Hastings Past and Present

From Historical Hastings

The 1864 edition of this guide-book to the town describes the environs of the town thus:

Ore . . . may be described either as a walk or a drive. As a walk, there are paths which lead direct through what was formerly the Elphinstone Estate, now laid out for building...The whole of the fields on the Elphinstone and Vine Hall estates are now laid open...A new road (St. Helen’s-road) (now St. Helen's’ Park-road) branches off to the left from the road leading up from Ore-lane (now Elphinstone-road), and passes through a pretty wood, about the centre of which, on the right hand, stands a stately mansion in a striking style of architecture. This is called St. Helen's Lodge (now Dunclutha), and has been lately erected by Mr. Pope. The view from the terrace is charming. This house, by its elevated site and its high peaked gables and towers, resembling a foreign chateau, is a conspicuous object from many parts of the neighbourhood, rising above the adjacent wood with a very picturesque effect. The road leads on to a further lodge, the entrance from the high road. The ground, called the Vine Hall Estate, on the eastern side of the St. Helen's (Park) road, is laid out with a view to building, and, if pretty houses are erected, with sufficient admixture of shrubbery and garden, they will add as much to the beauty as to the extent of Hastings.... A little beyond the cemetery [going from Hastings towards Battle] is Ore House [now St. Margaret’s School], where Dr. Hunt has an establishment for the cure of persons afflicted with stammering; and, further on still, Hurst [Court] College, lately built by Dr. Reed. Continuing the road along the Ridge, we pass the entrance to the drive leading to St. Helen's Lodge [now Dunclutha], and also a lodge leading to another pretty new house [perhaps Oakhurst] on the edge of a wood, Beaulieu [now Hydneye House], the residence of Edward Habershon, Esq." of Messrs. Habershon and Brock, 37 Bedford Place, London, the architects responsible for many of these large houses.

The Observer of the same date has this annotation:- The Elphinstone Estate[1]

Dr. Bullock says that the “Elphinstone Estate” was broken up after the death of Lady Elphinstone, the widow of Sir Howard Elphinstone, who had purchased Ore Place and its estate in 1821 and died in 1846. The changes in the names of houses and roads are most confusing, but old local maps greatly assist the correct identifications. Much can be discovered as to who lived where and when by diligent search in the various editions of “The Post Office Directory of Sussex,” published by W. Kelly and Co. (1st edition, 1845 onwards) and by Kelly's Hastings and St. Leonards Directory (1st edition, 1888, onwards) and other local directories, of which the Public Library have a lot. "I feel sure," he says, "that ‘Dunclutha’ was so named by Sir James Colquhoun of Luss, Scotland, who lived there at the beginning of this century. The present ‘St. Helen's Lodge’ on the Ridge is, of course, an entirely different house. Another interesting inhabitant was Mr. Clifford Harrison, the reciter and author, who lived at Osborne House (on the Ridge). He died December 17, 1903." I shall welcome further information from readers on notable houses on the residential fringes of the borough.

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