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Brett described the building thus:
It was built of stone, quarried on the spot, and in the Tudor castellated style, surrounded by pleasure grounds, within which were shrubberies, a vinery, and lawn terrace. There was also a stable and a coach-house, the whole covering more than an acre of ground. The principal apartments were reception rooms, two drawing-rooms, a very large dining-room, library, boudoir, a circular tower, and about a dozen bedrooms.
The building had many distinguished owners including The Rt. Hon. William Dundas MP, (Privy Counsellor, Secretary at War, Lord Commissioner of the Admiralty.), who resided there with his wife from 1837 until his death in 1845 and his wife remained until her death in 1852 and Sir Woodbine Parish F.R.S., K.C.H., (a Commissioner, 1853-65 for the St.Leonards Improvement Act).
During and after the first war the house appears to have been renamed Knockalton and occupied by a Captain F.S.H.Rickards and the building may have had service connections, but by 1922 the Rev. W. Guy Pearse was in residence and the name Quarry House restored. The Rev. Warwick Guy Pearce (-1949) turned the building into a convalescant home for ex servicemen, and was Warden for 27 years, being opened by the Princess Marie Louise. As the Quarry House Leave Centre for Service Boys, it was the only such establishment in the country and held special links with Arnhem, a parade together with presentation of a ceremonial plate by the Mayor of Arnhem taking place on the 22nd of April 1954.
The Annual Report of Quarry House for the year ending September 30, 1950 records it as a leave centre for men and boys of the services and a recuperative holiday home for men:-
“Our aim is to provide a Leave Centre for serving personnel and a Holiday Home for Old Comrades at the absolute minimum cost. Quarry House is situated in the best part of St. Leonards overlooking the sea, and is within a penny bus ride of Hastings, the amenities that the House offers are good beds, good food, full size billiards table, games room with table tennis, library, rest room and lounges.
The charges are:
N.C.O.s and Men 6s (30p) per day
Dormitory Rooms. 8s. 6d. (42 ½p) per day Single Rooms
Old Comrades 10s. (50p) per day Single Rooms.
Charges are inclusive of all meals”.
H.M.The King’s.annual donation was gratefully recorded as was the death of the Reverend Warwick Guy Pearse who had passed away in 1949 and was the founder of Quarry House and Warden for twenty-seven years “He devoted his life to this work and many men who first came to the House as boys will remember him with gratitude and affection[a].”
- This is taken from a now-deleted Hastings Observer Page originally written by Ion Castro - Editor
References & Notes
- Brett Manuscript Histories Vol. 1 Chap. VII
- Hastings & St Leonards Observer 10 August 1878 pg. 8
- Brett Manuscript Histories Vol 2 Chapt. XVII
- Hastings & St Leonards Observer 14 August 1954 pg. 8
- Hastings & St Leonards Observer 15 April 1954 pg. 1