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This field measured as being 3 acres, 3 rods and 8 perches, located to the west of Priory Road and incorporating Whitefriars Road, to the west of French's Mill, was formerly part of the Pesthouse Fields. In 1824, the Reverend George Stonestreet Griffin constructed Halton House on part of the field (at that time known as Lane Field) - see note from ESCC Archives below for the full history of the various owners of this field between 1762 and 1869:-
On 22-23 January 1762 The Mill Field (3a 3r 8p, formerly part of the Pesthouse Fields), was among the property settled on the marriage of Jane, one of the five daughters of John Collier of Hastings, with William Green. Jane was dead by 1804, when on 18-20 February William Green of Lewes, esq, sold the property, with a lodge, to William Scrivens the elder of Hastings, gent, for [£]525 (13). On 8-9 February 1810, Scrivens sold the property for [£]600 to Rowe Carswell of Hastings, miller, who mortgaged it and The Lane Field for [£]800 to William Gill and Joseph Hannay (1-2, 13).
On 10 August 1827 William Lucas Shadwell of Hastings, esq, who on 2-3 March 1824 had bought the tithes of St Mary in the Castle from Sir Godfrey Webster, sold the tithes of The Mill Field and other property to Rowe Carswell for [£]147 (12). Carswell died on 18 October and was buried at Ore on 21 October 1837 leaving a son William Carswell of Hastings, miller (son of Rowe Carswell and his wife Elizabeth Foster, married at St Clement on 28 January 1801 and baptised there on 6 May 1808). William Carswell obtained letters of administration from PCC on 18 December 1837 and sold the field, with the tithes, to Charles Coleman of Hastings, esq, for [£]525 (paid to the surviving mortgagee Joseph Hannay) on 5-6 February 1838; the plan incorporated in the deed shows a pond, garden, lodge and Albion Cottages along Priory Road, and cottages to the west. The Lane Field was sold to the Revd George Stonestreet Griffen Stonestreet, who covenanted to produce the mortgage deed, which was itself handed to the Revd T Vores on 20 June 1843 (12). On 26 May 1838 Thomas Breeds of Hastings, merchant, gave a statutory declaration of the heirship of William Carswell, then aged 30 (3-5).
On 30 August 1849 Coleman granted a 99-year lease at [£]3 of the site of 4 Belle View to Thomas Tutt of Hastings, shoemaker, who mortgaged to the Rape of Hastings Building Society for 350. On 22 March 1856 Tutt was joined by Frederick William Foster of Hastings, schoolmaster[Notes 1] (to whom he previously sold the lease for [£]370) to assign to John Rayner Hovell of 20 St Marys Terrace, esq, who paid a further [£]30 to Foster (13). The mortgage was paid off on 20 March 1856 (6-8). On 15 September 1862 Hovell surrendered the lease for [£]475 to Charles Coleman, who granted a 7-year lease at [£]35 to Hannah Blaber of Hastings, widow, on 12 September 1864 (9, 13).
Charles Coleman leased 6 Belle Vue for 99 years at [£]5 to Thomas Tutt of Hastings, shoemaker, on 25 August 1853 (13).
[Charles Coleman died at The Tower, West Hill, on 30 March 1867 and his will, charging legacies on his real estate, was proved on 26 April 1867].
On 29 July 1869 the land, with 1-6 Belle Vue, formed lots 1-12 in a sale of land at West Hill, which also included Mill Hill Cottage and The Tower, Mill Hill Lodge and Whitefriars, a little further north on the opposite side of the road. Lots 9, 11 and 12, number 1-4 and 6 Belle Vue, were bought by George Davis, whose name is written on the outside of the printed particulars (10-12). On 18 August 1869 William Rudall of Lincoln's Inn gave an opinion on the title, in which he questioned whether the vendors were the executors or the beneficiaries, F C Davies and Mr and Mrs Plumbe (13).
The land which had formed Lot 2 in the sale of 1869 was sold in 16 building-plots on the newly laid out Plynlimmon Road, with a garden forming lot 17, on 9 May 1870 (14-15).
Towards the end of the history given above (1869), Mill Field was recorded as being substantially reduced in size due to further sub-divisions to measure 1 rod 18 perches and in the possession of someone named Clement.
References & Notes
- F. W. Foster was head teacher of Hastings Grammar School between 1848 and 1870