Priory Farm

From Historical Hastings

The Priory Farm was roughly centred on what is Cambridge Gardens and up to around the early 1800s was believed to have a few 'ancient' walls that were supposed to be from the Augustinian Priory of the Holy Trinity. Cousins mentions a tenant named Mr Ford in his book.[1]

Priory Farm layout circa 1750

Part of the supposition that the walls were part of the priory originated in the detail noted by Brett that the walls were oriented almost perfectly E-W, such that the roof-line could be utilised as a primitive sundial.[2]

The farmhouse itself was located approximately on the junction on Cambridge Road and Cambridge Gardens, being described by Brett as a white weather-boarded cottage with climbing roses and creepers on the woodwork between doors and windows. The cottage faced east and was fronted by flower gardens and a white picket fence.[3]

The farm featured a water-wheel over the Priory Stream and water storage tank situated near what is now the end of Havelock Road which were removed for the construction of the aforementioned road, it being the main approach to Hastings Railway Station[4]

In 1752, it is reported that the then occupier of the farm, a Mr. John Lingham and his wife, Elizabeth, were the only parishioners of the Priory of Holy Trinity; a declaration to that effect having been made by Mr. Lingham on the 4th of July 1752. It is further noted that John and his wife held a lease of the Magdalen Charity Lands between prior to 1761-1768[5].

Part of the farm formed the northern bounds of, and was a part of the Cornwallis estate. The farm buildings were demolished circa 1878 for the construction of Cornwallis Gardens, Cornwallis Terrace, Holmesdale Gardens, and Cambridge Gardens.


References & Notes