From Historical Hastings
1873 map of the area around Lavatoria.
The diagonal straight line from bottom right is the path taken by Burton's Boundary wall

Lavatoria was originally laid out as a square, with small houses facing each other at the west end of Norman Road, the north side being somewhat earlier (1829-30)[1] than the south, with the northern houses being built by Messrs. Towner, Smith and Thorne and the southern range built and inhabited by Messrs. Putland, Burgess and Mortimer. The shop-fronts on a line with Norman Road were added about fifty years after original construction.

Burton's Wall

Originally Norman Road was blocked at its junction with the square by a boundary wall that provided access only for foot traffic between two posts on the east side of the square. The wall was taken down around 1841/2[2]


In terms of numbering, from Census returns, it would appear that number 1 was the north-west property in the square, the numbering proceeding clockwise, ending at 18 at the south-west property[3]

1837 Residents

Brett in his manuscript histories gives the 1837 occupants as follows[4]:-

1: Thos. Bumsted
2: Thos. Burt
3: Wm. Quaife
4: Thos. Smith
5: Jno. Sinnock
6: Christopher Deering
7: Thos. Marchant
8: Chas. Vaughan
9: Benj. Cork
10: Wm. Palmer
11: Geo. Savage
12: Hobden
13: Thos. Burgess Jno.
14: Wilson
15: Mortimer
16: Sam. Summerall
17: Jno. Prendergast
18: Jas. Bungay

1867 Suicide in a Well

At an inquest held in the British Hotel, East Ascent in June of 1867, a coroner's court was informed how a well-sinker, Frederick Chapman aged 34, had opened the lid of a well situated in the square and jumped to his death below at about 3:45pm on Monday the 17th of June. Ropes were hastily found and lowered into the well to retrieve the body; it having taken about 30 minutes to locate a suitable rope to pull Chapman up. The court was informed that the well was in a dangerous state and a firm recommendation was made that the well be closed off. Chapman having been known to be a heavy drinker appeared to a number of witnesses to be intoxicated prior to his descent and a verdict was given that death was due to temporary insanity brought on by heavy drinking[5].


References & Notes

  1. Brett Manuscript Histories Vol. 1 Chap. 1
  2. Bretts Manuscript Histories Vol. 1, Chap. 3
  3. Helena Wojtczak
  4. Brett Manuscript Histories Vol. 2 Chap. 17
  5. British Newspaper Archive Sussex Advertiser 22 June 1867 Pg. 0004