The picture above is of "Coghurst
Gates". This was the gatehouse to Coghurst Estate and stood on The Ridge at
Hastings opposite Victoria Avenue. During the war the Ades family lived
there and it was at that time that the iron gates were removed. Coghurst Gates was last lived in by the
Moon family and was demolished in the late 1950's.
Coghurst is a large area of countryside to
the north of Hastings, it is unusual in the fact that it is almost impossible to
find out its history, The orgin of the name is not known, a John Coghurt of
Guestling is recorded in 1327.
There was a tenement and 260 acres called "Coghurst" in the parishes
of Guestling and Westfield which were occupied by William Fletcher in 1694.
A Coghurst House is mentioned in 1666.
Manwaring Baines who wrote "Historic
Hastings" and was curator of the museum states that Coghurst Hall was built
for Musgrave Brisco in 1811, but it is elsewhere said have had Decimus Burton as
architect, as he lived from 1800 - 1881 there would appear to be something wrong
here, unless he drew up the plans aged 11!!
A message from Colin Pope who has researched the Brisco Family in some depth
puts the construction date as around 1834 which would appear to be more
Musgrave later became High Sheriff for Sussex. He died in 1854 and had no
The 1867 Kelly's Directory lists Charles Hay
Frewen, esq. Coghurst hall under Borough Magistrates.
"Coghurst Hall, the seat of Charles Hay Frewen, Esq.,
J.P., is a commodious mansion, situated in a fine park".
After Musgrave Brisco (born 13 April
1791) died on 9 May 1854, he left the bulk of his estate, including Coghurst
Hall, to his wife Frances (nee Woodgate), with instructions that after her
death it was to devolve to his brother Wastel Brisco (of Bohemia House).
Musgrave was elected mayor of Hastings
in 1842, and was elected MP for Hastings on 30 March 1844. After
a successful fight in 1847, he was returned as a Peelite, and in 1852 as a
Conservative. Two years later, however, he applied for the Chiltern Hundreds,
and retired from active political life. Shortly thereafter he died, and was
buried at Old St Helen's, the ruins of which stand near the Parish Church of
Ore. He was also a magistrate and deputy-lieutenant for the counties of
Sussex and York and was directly related to the Briscos of Crofton Hall,
In 1856, Frances Brisco married Charles Hay
Frewen and they lived in Coghurst Hall until Frances died on 14 February 1867.
Wastel then inherited the property and
Charles Hay Frewen moved out soon after [a letter from Helen Frewen,
Brickwall to Edward Frewen informs him that "uncle Charles [Hay Frewen] is
to leave Coghurst ... and that Mr Brisco will rent it out', 11 Mar
Charles Frewen, who served as Deputy
Lieutenant for Sussex and Rutland, was High Sheriff of Leicestershire
in 1866 and MP for Eastern Sussex, 1846-1857 until he blew his
election via unwise correspondence, died on 1 September 1878 at Cold
If Coghurst Hall was built for Musgrave in
1811 it must have been financed by his father Wastel Brisco (1754-1834)
who was born in Yorkshire but lived and died in Coghurst. He was a
captain in the Coldstream guards and a deputy lieutenant for the counties of
Sussex and York.
My thanks to Murray Waldren for
the above information
"Who's Who in Staffordshire" 1934
COGHILL, Archibald Fuller, J.P.
Redland, Basford, Stoke-on-Trent.
Born, Newcastle, Staffs., 1853. Son of late Harry Coghill, Esq. JP., Coghurst
Educated Cheltenham College.
Married 1877, Jessie, daughter of late John Drake, Esq., of Weston-super-Mare.
for Pirehill, North Staffs., appointed 1900
President NS. Infirmary, 1902-1903;
President N.S. Musical Festival, 1899 ;
Chemical Manufacturer (retired).
Anna Louisa Walker Coghill -1836-1907
Born: 1836, Kiddermore, Staffordshire,
Died: July 7, 1907, Bath, England.
Buried: Fairlight (near Hastings), England.
Pseudonym: Mrs. Harry Coghill.
In 1857, Anna’s family moved to Canada, where
she and her two sisters ran a girls’ school. Anna returned to England in 1863
and worked as a governess and book reviewer. In 1883, she married Harry Coghill
and moved to Coghurst Hall, near Hastings, England. Her works include:
- Leaves from the Backwoods (Montréal, Canada:
John Lovell, 1861)
- A Canadian Heroine, a Novel (London: Tinsley,
- Oak and Maple: English and Canadian Verses
(London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trüber & Co., Ltd., 1890)
- Edited and published the Autobiography and Letters
of her cousin, Mrs. Oliphant, 1898
Work, for the Night
In addition to the above the following information is
This hymn, which emphasizes the joy and dignity of work,
especially Christian service, was written in 1854 by an 18 year-old Canadian
girl, known then as Annie Louise Walker. (Annie married a wealthy merchant,
Harry Coghill, in 1883). Her poem was first published in a Canadian newspaper
and later in her own book, Leaves From the Back Woods. Mrs. Coghill
eventually attained prominence as a poet and author, producing several volumes
which enjoyed wide circulation.
Philosophers and writers have made many profound statements about the intrinsic
value of labour; but none has been able to state more simply and meaningfully
the joy of being co-workers with God in worthy labour than has Annie Louise
Coghill in this hymn text.
See this poem at http://eir.library.utoronto.ca/rpo/display/poem2244.html
Today what is left of Coghurst Hall is a
Holiday Park, much of the building has been changed, but
Coghurst Hall Holiday Village only covers a small part of what
was once Coghurst.
Click on the picture for a larger version
More pictures from the air
Ghosts!! - locals say they have seen the
ghost of a young WWII soldier on the Ridge, who was killed by a German bomb, as
he crouched under a sand rock wall, which was part of the now-demolished
Coghurst Hall Gatehouse lodge. When I was a child there was a gap in the
wall opposite Frederick Road that could have been caused by a bomb, there were
tales that the gatehouse was haunted. Today there is a filling station on
the site of the gap in the wall.