Osborne House

From Historical Hastings
Osborne House
General information
Address245 The Ridge
Postal CodeTN34 2AE
Admin. Information
Electoral/Planning WardBAIRD Pre May 2018
Prop. Ref. No.100060039555


Osborne House


Formerly known as Shaftesbury Home, this collection of buildings situated on the east side of the junction between Elphinstone Road and The Ridge was demolished to make way for a housing estate around 2014. The white-faced buildings were for many years a prominent feature of the junction, being utilised variously as an educational establishment[1], a school for mentally disabled children (The Fountain of Hope Group) and an old people's home[2].

Following a re-fit in 1952, the buildings re-opened as a unit of the Fountain of Hope group of hospitals with the Mayor and Mayoress (Alderman and Mrs H. W. Rymill) in attendance at a ceremony presided over by the vice-chairman of the South West Regional Hospital Board, Mr A. G. Linfield[3]. Prior to this, it was St. Vincent's School, a boarding school for girls aged 3 to 7 years old[4].

The building was listed as being for sale at auction in 1905, the previous owner Mr. H. Hardinge reportedly having obtained another property in the neighbourhood[5]. Prior to this in 1893 the house was occupied by Mr. Henry John Farmer-Atkinson[6] - a pen portrait of this gentleman in December of that year revealing that Mr. Farmer-Atkinson was a native of Yorkshire and an avid book collector, the hallway of the property being described as strewn with books of rare and interesting natures. Further detail is given that he was a Freeman of Hull, MP, actor, lively public speaker and an ebullient character. A Protestant, he was Mayor of Hull prior to becoming a freeman and before this, at the age of 19, he had formed the shipping firm of William Brown, Atkinson & Co - a position from which he resigned in 1873. Charitable by nature also he is recorded as having raised £4000 for a sailor's home in Hull in 1856, director of too many companies to list and undoubtedly one of the busiest men towards the end of the 18th century[7]. For all this, by May 1893 a petition of bankruptcy appears against the man, he apparently having deserted Osborne House[8]

Going back further in time, the house was occupied by the actress Miss Craigie Halkett during the early 1870s[9], the property apparently having been constructed around 1871[10], and at that time being described thus[11]:-

Approached by a carriage drive and containing three handsome and spacious reception rooms, eight bed chambers, bath room, the usual domestic offices, stabling, conservatory, flower and kitchen gardens and a croquet lawn.

One of the few extant horse troughs still stands to the west of the site on Elphinstone Road.

Images[edit]

References & Notes

  1. Hastings Borough Council Planning application ref: HS/FA/92/00638
  2. Hastings Borough Council Planning application ref: HS/72/01717
  3. British Newspaper Archive Hastings & St. Leonards Observer 1 November 1952 Pg. 0004
  4. British Newspaper Archive Hastings & St. Leonards Observer 6 May 1950 Pg. 0010
  5. British Newspaper Archive Hastings & St. Leonards Observer 14 January 1905 Pg. 0004
  6. British Newspaper Archive Hastings & St. Leonards Observer 17 June 1893 Pg. 0003
  7. British Newspaper Archive Hastings & St. Leonards Observer 9 December 1893 Pg. 0006
  8. British Newspaper Archive Hastings & St. Leonards Observer 13 May 1893 Pg. 0005
  9. British Newspaper Archive Hastings & St. Leonards Observer 29 May 1880 Pg. 0002
  10. British Newspaper Archive Hastings & St. Leonards Observer 17 June 1871 Pg. 0003
  11. British Newspaper Archive Hastings & St. Leonards Observer 29 April 1876 Pg. 0004