Maudlin Lands

From Historical Hastings

The naming of this area may well be a corruption of the word Magdalen - the charity owning much of the area described below;

J. Manwaring Baines gives the total area covered by the Maudlin Lands as being some 57 acres, covering much of the area between White Rock and Warrior Square, extending inland as far as the Horntye Field (now Horntye Road)[1].

Establishment and ownership

During 1294, it is recorded that Petronella de Cham donated over 5 acres of farmland to aid and support the hospital of St Mary Magdalen. In the reign of Henry VIII the hospital and chantry were merged and seized including this 5 acres. In 1589, Queen Elizabeth returned the estate to the Mayor and Jurats of Hastings corporation.[2]

By 1720, it would appear that the area was in agricultural use; there being a record of a bond of £200 being paid by James and Thomas Winter of Hastings, to Hastings Corporation[3]

On the 5th of October 1732, there is record of the leasing of "a tenement, garden and piece of land (one acre), in Spittalman Down in Hastings St Mary Magdalen; abutting: S the Maudlin lands; E, N and W the highway leading from Hastings to Hollington; now in the possession of TD by virtue of a lease to Richard Hall for 80 years, 5 Oct 1732; rent 3s 0d W: Joseph Acton, Town Clerk, Thomas Crouch, chamberlain"[4], this property being adjacent to the north of the Maudlin Lands.


Contained within the Maudlin Lands were the ancient St Mary Magdalen Hospital and Bohemia Farm. The name Maudlin continues with a correct spelling; that of Magdalen Road[1] Income from both the management and sale of the lands gave rise to the Magdalen and Lasher charity.


References & Notes

  1. a b Historic Hastings, J. Manwaring Baines pg. 108 ISBN: 0948869003 ISBN: 9780948869006 Amazon
  2. The Magdalen & Lasher Charity: History of the Charity – The Magdalen & Lasher Charity, accessdate: 11 December 2019
  3. East Sussex County Council Archive The Keep GB179_HAS_E_A_B_12
  4. East Sussex County Council Archive The Keep GB179_HAS_E_A_B_18