Information needed

By Nina Heaton

This is a request from the Newhaven Conservation Trust for any information on Meeching Hall, Fort Road, Newhaven that people may have.  We would very much appreciate historic links, any anecdotes, links with famous people or indeed any memories that you may have as we are interested in the history of buildings in Newhaven.
Many thanks Nina Heaton

 hi nina i lived near fort road from 1942 untill 1960 i remember a building we used to play in and around we called the manor it was just past the shops and the war memorial on the same side as the shops ,is the buildihg you mean? david carter on 09/01/2013 at 16:07

i think Nina is refering to the agricultural hall to the right of #2-6 Fort Road and set back a little. My nan lived in #6 and i used to play in a small cobbled courtyard to the rear. i learnt to ride my bike there. There was also a small shop in between the front doors and above it you could see where loading doors had been changed to an arched window. some photographs (notably one with rememberance day service) still showed the wooden loading arm and hood protruding from the wall above the new window. the hall itself had a little stage at one end and i remember kids birthday parties and jumble sales as well as wednesday night bingo. my nan 'Minnie' and my mum 'Fran' were regular attendees. I ended up living directly opposite the hall at 58 South Road.Re: Meeching Hall, Fort Road, Newhaven By Rob Patten on 13/01/2013 at 18:38

Hi Rob, thank you for responding to mine and David's posts and your information and memories. Apologies for not answering sooner - the reason being that I'm in the wilds of snowy Scotland! I would be interested to know why you refer to it as the 'agricultural hall'? When was it used as an agricultural hall and who did it belong to? Any ideas?

Yes, I think I've seen the photo with a Rememberance Day service with some amazing prams in it that Peter Bailey has.Anything else that you can 'dredge up' on the Hall would be great. Thanks very much. Nina Heaton on 28/01/2013 at 19:10

 hi Nina, i'm adding two and two together being that; if memory serves; it is physically connected to the building next door (numbers 2,4 & 6 Fort Road) and that there originally was the Manor Farm just behind it, which was demolished to make way for Meeching Court flats. Again i'm assuming a lot but being that their was a ford in the river across from these collections of buildings which themselves were at the foot of a natural gulley than ran from the hill by the church down to the ford it is safe to assume that the original 'main' track running through Meeching ran down this gulley and across the river. if you extend this thinking on you will see that the top of this track would have connected up with the union grounds and the road called the Highway as it crested the hill and ran off westwards towards Brighton. Meeching road would therefore had led towards the settlement of Meeching, the same way that Lewes road heads towards Lewes and Denton road towards Denton. This would place the main settlement of Meeching, below the church on the south east facing slope now covered by Norman, Saxon and Meeching roads. if this was the case then the centre of the community would be the village or agricultural hall. Lots of assumptions but it kind of makes sense. Rob Patten on 30/01/2013 at 22:15

Hi David, thanks for your response. Sorry to have taken so long to answer as am away in the wilds of Scotland until end of Feb. Yes, as Rob Patten says it's the building that is set back slightly from the road.

Can you tell me why you called it the 'manor'? Do you know whether it was part of the farm that was near there? Thanks, By Nina Heaton on 28/01/2013 at 18:53

I knew it as the old manor as my mother told me it was ,she had lived in newhaven all her life .We used to use it as a play area when i was 11 ish [1953] .It was locked up and some windows were boarded over ,but we found a way in and used it as a den etc . The floors were unsafe in places and we were told not to go inside but we did of course .on bonfire nights the people near had a bonfire in the grounds .from memory inside it looked more like a warehouse than a manor. David carter on 08/02/2013 at 15:35

A page with some relevant pictures, information & comments regarding this building has been published on the website. Richard Beckett on 10/02/2013 at 16:23

This page was added by Nina Heaton on 21/01/2013.

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