Possibly a derivative of 'Tar Field', the origin of this name is as yet, indeterminate. Brett in describing the escape of a prisoner from the gaol after the murder of the gaoler gives an alternate name of Torhill field. This latter name also appears in a newspaper report of 1869 relating to an indecent assault whereby a constable - PC Love - was ascending 'Torhill Field' when he was approached by a man (Robert Atkins) who had witnessed a child being assaulted by Thomas Dawes.
In 1935, there was a plan to drive a new road through Torfield to the Old Town valley floor, however due in part to complaints against the scheme, this did not reach fruition. In any event, the road would have bisected a number of footpaths and reportedly involved the re-interment of the burials in St Clements graveyard.
References & Notes
- Brett Manuscript Histories Vol. 6 Chap. 56
- British Newspaper Archive Hastings & St. Leonards Observer 7 August 1869 Pg. 0003