06 July 2018

The Paddocks Estate, Mile Oak, Portslade.

Judy Middleton 2003 (revised 2018)

copyright © D. Spicer
A 1935 amended plan which was not fully implemented,  Stanley Avenue terminates at Foxhunters Road with only a concrete path linking Stanley Avenue with Chalky Road. At the north-west end of Stanley Avenue there was a proposed car turning area and a long row of garages.
The name 'Mr Melville' appears at the bottom of this drawing as a land owner on the west side of Mile Oak Road,  Andrew Melville, the theatre impresario lived at Whychcote in the Old Village.

Background

In times past this piece of land had been part of Great Cow Down (marked 167 on the 1840 Tithe Map) and consisted of 13 acres, 2 rods, and 15 perches. The name ‘Cowdowne’ goes back at least as far as the reign of Edward VI (1547-1553) when Cowdowne was in use as common land and tenants could pasture their cattle with one herdsmen looking after all of them.

In 1797 Great Cow Downe belonged to the Bridger family, and the land was mentioned in a deed dated 29 December 1832 as part of a marriage settlement when Elizabeth Bridger, the younger, married Thomas Cattley.

Harry Colwill Bridger of Buckingham House, Shoreham, and William Bridger of West Grinstead, were empowered to sell some land at Portslade in 40 lots. John Mannington, a Portslade vet, was the highest bidder in 1864 for lot 34 at £600 for 13 acres. The following year Mannington took out a mortgage on the property for £500 with George Thomas Breach, senior. Mannington’s will dated 5 February 1885 stated that his wife Elizabeth was to enjoy the property for her lifetime. Mannington also owned numbers 73, 74, and 75 Middle Street, Brighton, and a place in Uckfield called Bauldrons.

 copyright ©  Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove
A report from the Brighton Herald of an auction held at the
Old Ship Hotel, Brighton on 16 July 1898

By 1906 Henry Marcus Allen of 33b Westminster Palace Gardens, Victoria Street, London, and Emma Mary Allen of 23 Kensington Square, London, were owners of The Paddocks. On 21 November 1906 they sold the land to Robert Price, farmer, for £3,000. Price already lived on the premises, and the transaction also covered the ‘messuages and premises, outbuildings, stables, forges, (and) outhouses’. Two days later Price mortgaged the property for £2,500 with Mary Ann Elizabeth Vokins of The Drive, Hove.

Unfortunately for Robert Price, Miss Vokins died less than two months later on 13 January 1907 and there was no way he could pay off the mortgage in that time. When Miss Vokins wrote her will in 1898, she appointed her nephew Frederick William Hedington, and Wilfred George Carlton Hall as her executors. On 13 October 1909 they sold the property for £2,900 to spinsters Esther Carlish and Miriam Carlish of Shalimar, Withdean.

On 22 December 1911 Esther and Miriam plus Abraham Carlish of 36 Cambridge Road, Hove, took out a mortgage for £2,000 with Henry James Barnes of Mount Echo, Chingford, Essex, and Francis Ernest Barnes of Broad Street House, City of London. On 1 March 1912 H.J. Barnes’ new mortgage partner was Frederick Charles Alfred Ziegele of Ellesmere, Woodford Green, Essex.
copyright © D. Spicer
1917 Plan of Conveyance, some of the conifer trees shown on the east
of the numbered fields still survive today.

On 1 May 1917 Esther and Miriam, by then living at 1 Queen’s Gardens, Hove, as vendors, and Barnes and Ziegele, as mortgagees, agreed to sell The Paddocks to Daisy Houston Boswell-Preston of 7 Seaside Villas, Hove (now Western Esplanade) for £3,000 but £2,000 of that sum was owed to the mortgagees. There was an option to purchase the adjoining land on the north side for £1,250. Meanwhile, an old flint wall between the two pieces of land was to be maintained as a party wall.

The day following her purchase, Daisy took out a mortgage for £2,000 with the same men, Henry James Barnes and F.C.A. Ziegele, with whom Esther and Miriam Carlish had a mortgage arrangement. But Barnes died on 19 July 1921 and so Ziegele had to find another mortgage partner. He was Edward Charles Finch of Windyridge, Chigwell, Essex, and he filled the breach on 22 March 1922.

In 1923 it appears that British Provisions Ltd (registered office Mile Oak Farm) owned the adjacent property, and also had an agreement with Mr Ziegele. Daisy asked to see the document in question, and it was produced. On 28 February 1929 Daisy took out a further mortgage on her land for £500 with Ziegele and Finch.

It seems obvious that by this time Daisy and her husband Gordon were in some financial difficulties. At any rate in May 1932 Gordon Boswell-Preston stated he was willing to sell The Paddocks to Portslade Council for £9,000, stating that this was the lowest price he would consider. Portslade Council must have thought the price was too steep because nothing came of the offer. The Boswell-Prestons decide to forge ahead on their own account.

In 1933 Portslade Council passed plans for road building on the Paddocks Estate, including Sefton Road, Beechers Road, and Stanley Avenue, and in 1934 Foxhunters Road was added. Although plans had been passed, house building did not start at once.
On 1 February 1934 Daisy accrued a Legal Charge of £60 from the National Provisional Bank.

copyright © D. Spicer
The 1934 plan shows Stanley Avenue as 'Stanley Road', the new road forming a cross road, between Beeches Road, Foxhunters Road and connecting Mile Oak Road and Chalky Road was never built.

In 1934 Gordon Boswell-Preston began building houses fronting Mile Oak Road – there was some correspondence with the Council on the matter. In April 1934 Portslade Council refused him permission to construct temporary cesspools in front of the houses. Instead, they invited him to submit drainage plans. In the interim, sewerage from the houses could be discharged into temporary tanks, until the main sewer was constructed.

Meanwhile, there was the little matter of the mortgages on The Paddocks to sort out. It was a field day for the legal profession because no less than five separate deeds were drawn up in 1934. By this time the mortgage had been transferred to Thomas Sutton of the Constitutional Club, Northumberland Avenue, London. Daisy had managed to keep up the interest payments, but the capital was still outstanding. By paying £500 she secured a deed of release on the properties verged pink on the first map, while the parts verged blue meant there was money owed. The remaining capital was paid off in May 1934.

Daisy’s final legal outing concerning this land was on 10 July 1935 when her name appeared on a document, together with the National Provisional Bank when Mile Oak Estates Ltd purchased The Paddocks. The land was coloured pink in the next estate plan and the vendor received £240 for rights of way while £60 went to settle the Legal Charge.

The following month Mile Oak Estates Ltd took out a debenture for £16,000 with Branch Nominees Ltd.

Finally, in December 1946 and April 1948 Daisy Boswell-Preston sold some land to Portslade Urban District Council.

Beechers Road

 copyright © G. Osborne
A late 1930s photograph of the Mile Oak Estate, showing Beechers Road and Stanley Avenue, The Church of the Good Shepherd 'Tin Hut' can just be seen behind the white car in Stanley Avenue.

Perhaps this road was named after Bechers Brook – the most famous of the obstacles encountered by jockeys and horses during the National Steeplechase at Aintree. Bechers Brook is identified as fence 6, and it is 4-ft 10-in tall. It is also popularly spelled as Beechers Brook.

On 10 July 1935 Mile Oak Estates Ltd (registered office Stud Farm Estate, Polegate) purchased nine plots of building land on the south west side of Beechers Road on The Paddocks Estate from the National Provincial Bank and Daisy Houston Boswell-Preston. Residential housing was built, and deeds stipulated that no shop or business might be carried out on the premises.

Number 30 was one of the houses built on these plots. On 7 January 1939 number 30 was sold to John Walter Bonnell for £400 plus £275. On 30 August 1946 J.W. Bonnell, engineer, of Gladwyn, Regent Turner Street, Oakhill, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, sold number 30 to Alfred John Ticehurst, Post Office Sorter, of 98 Widdecombe Way, Bevendean, Brighton, for £1,500.

It is interesting to note that in 1938 number 13 Beechers Road was re-numbered as 11A because it was Portslade Council’s policy not to include unlucky number 13 in new developments. For example, in Mile Oak Gardens, which was also developed in the 1930s, there is no number 13.

In May 1993 two adjacent properties were up for sale at the same time. Number 17 had three bedrooms upstairs and a swimming pool in the garden – the price was £84,000. Number 19 had just the one bedroom upstairs, and it was going for £64,500. Alternatively, the properties could be purchased together for the price of £148,000.

Foxhunter Road

Perhaps this road was added as an afterthought because although plans for the other three roads on The Paddocks Estate were approved in 1933, Foxhunter Road did not follow suit until 1934.

copyright © Uridge
An evocative photograph of North House Farm in 1924 with a meeting of the Southdown Foxhounds.
Joe Mackarness, huntsman, is seen on the left.

It was most probably named after foxhunting associations in former times. For example, the Southdown Foxhounds used to foregather at Mile Oak, and were greeted with glasses of cherry brandy supplied by the occupants of North House Farm.

Some 25 years after the road was named, people still remember a famous horse called Foxhunter ridden by Harry Llewellyn.

Sefton Road

 copyright © G. Osborne
An early 1950s greetings card, showing, Mile Oak Road, Sefton Road, Oakdean Avenue, Beechers Road and Graham Avenue

The road derives from famous horse racing connections. The horse Sefton was born in 1875, and went on to win the Derby by 1½ lengths – Henry Constable was the jockey, Alec Taylor, senior, was the trainer, and W. Stirling Crawford was the owner.

The Molyneux family, who were Earls of Sefton, were well known in the racing world, and had been connected with Aintree and its surrounding countryside for over 800 years. Osbert Cecil Molyneux, 6th Earl of Sefton (1871-1930) owned a string of fine, winning horses including Lake Van, Marshall Neil, and Parana.

Hugh William Osbert Molyneux, 7th Earl of Sefton (1898-1972) was another outstanding figure in the racing world, and was a friend of the Prince of Wales. In 1935 Wallis Simpson declared him to be ‘the best-looking man I’ve ever seen’. He served in the Royal Horse Guards from 1917 to 1930, and from 1939 to 1945. He had no heir, his brother being killed at the Battle of Jutland.

In 1982 a horse called Sefton came to national prominence again. On 20 July 1982 the IRA detonated bombs in two London parks, killing eleven men and seven horses. Heroic Sefton received 38 wounds, but remarkably made a full recovery, and became a symbol of hope at a dark time.

Stanley Avenue

copyright © G. Osborne
 An early 1950s view of Stanley Avenue

Although plans for the layout of the road were approved in 1933, it did not start to be developed until 1935 and it was not until 1938 that house drains were connected to the main sewer. The outbreak of the Second World War meant a prolonged pause in development.

 copyright © G. Osborne
A pre-1936 photograph of Stanley Avenue, the 'Tin Church' not yet erected in the gap between the bungalows.

copyright © Parish of Portslade & Mile Oak
A 1959 photograph of The Good Shepherd's 'Tin Church' in Stanley Avenue was a part of the original Paddocks Estate

Planning Approvals

1935 – H.E. Painter, five bungalows
1935 – H. E. Painter, five bungalows, numbers 69 to 77
1936 – March, Revd E.P.W. Holmes, vicar of Portslade, temporary church (Church of the Good Shepherd)
1950 – Four bungalows
1953 – Suders Ltd. 26 bungalows
1954 – Stone & Son Ltd fifteen dwellings
1954 – Extension of road

In 1958 the top of Stanley Avenue was still languishing as an unmade road.

 copyright © G. Osborne
A late 1930s photograph of the Mile Oak Estate, note the abrupt end of Stanley Avenue

In November 1987 safety fears were reported concerning three pine trees in the garden of Mrs Christmas. A neighbour said that one tree was leaning against his shed, and he had moved his son out of the bedroom facing the tree as a precaution. A tree surgeon inspected the trees and reported that one of them had shifted as a result of the Great Gale and would have to be felled.

Tithes

A tithe was reckoned as a tenth part of the annual income of an inhabitant, and it was paid towards the maintenance of a vicar or rector of the individual parish. This old system was introduced in Saxon times.

However, it was not easy or practical to take a tithe of chickens or piglets, and thus tithes usually related to crops or cattle.

Soon after Queen Victoria came to the throne, the Tithe Commutation Act was passed, which meant that a fixed sum of money was paid to an incumbent instead of tithes in kind. It was because of this legislation that the informative Tithe Maps of the 1840s were produced.

The Tithe Act 1925 transferred money to Queen Anne’s Bounty, which had been established in1704 to receive ecclesiastical dues. The fund was used to supplement the income of impoverished clergy.

It is interesting to note that in 1933 Portslade Council were still paying tithes amounting to £2-6-2d to Magdalen College, Cambridge. Individual properties in Portslade were also liable to pay tithes. But it was only a tiny amount and so cannot have caused anxiety. For example, in 1947 the owner of 30 Beechers Road had to pay the grand sum of sixpence on his tithe bill.

copyright © D. Spicer

In 1948 Queen Anne’s Bounty and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners combined to form the Church Commissioners.

 copyright © G. Osborne
See also the Mile Oak page for the history of the Edwardian Paddocks Tea Garden and Model Farm which originally stood on the land that the Paddocks Housing Estate was built on in the 1930s

Sources

Thanks are due to Mr G. Osborne for allowing me to reproduce seven of his wonderful photographs

Argus
Middleton J, Encyclopaedia of Hove and Portslade
Private House Deeds
Portslade Council Minute Books (at The Keep)
The Keep

DO/A35/27 Minute Books Portslade UDC 1933
DO/A35/28 Minute Books Portslade UDC 1933
DO/A35/29 Minute Books Portslade UDC 1934
DO/A35/30 Minute Books Portslade UDC 1934
DO/A35/31 Minute Books Portslade UDC 1934-1935
DO/A35/33 Minute Books Portslade UDC 1935-1936
HOW 24/11 Cattley family property in Portslade 1849-1865

Copyright © J.Middleton 2018  
page layout by D.Sharp