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Bohemia Farm to Summerfields Estate: a History (Inglés) Tapa blanda – Ilustrado, 1 may 2010


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Tapa blanda, Ilustrado, 1 may 2010
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This short book has been written as a fundraiser for the Bohemia Walled Garden Association. It aims to trace the history of the land on which the walled garden sits. As a 'general interest' book, full academic references have not been given, but the sources are listed, with their location. Hastings Corporation bought Summer Fields School and grounds in 1966 for £160,000 with the intention of developing the mansion house and grounds as a Civic Centre. The school, a boys' preparatory, had been founded in Oxford in 1863. In 1903, it chose to expand by renting (from Sir Musgrave Horton Brisco, Bart.), and subsequently buying, another site in a healthy location for the less robust boys; it contracted back to its main site there in 1966. Sir Musgrave had inherited the estate after the death of Wastel Brisco's daughters. Wastel Brisco had developed the estate from purchases that he made in the 1830s; he died in 1878 and his last surviving daughter died in 1899. When Sir Musgrave's son, Hylton Ralph Brisco, sold up in 1920, the school bought the 40 acre mansion and grounds. Hastings Council had originally planned to use the mansion house as a town hall cum council offices, and construct new municipal buildings in the grounds. But its plans were disrupted by the local government reorganisation of 1974/5, in which Hastings was demoted from a County Borough, running its own highways, police, fire, education etc. services, to be merely an underling of East Sussex County Council, only having control over planning matters and tourism and leisure. With the exception of the demolition of the mansion house and both its lodges, recent developments have left the basic framework of the estate in place, a fine example of a gentleman's country estate with interesting features in the grounds. Since the 1830s, the joint town of Hastings and St. Leonards has grown fast and gradually surrounded the estate.

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