Fortune of War


In 1795 the government purchased 30 acres of land at Halton to build barracks for housing troops which were to be deployed defending the South East in respect of a possible invasion by Napoleon. These were occupied in 1804, and at that time this part of Priory Road was called Barrack Road.

During this period the Fortune of War was built and served as the military headquarters, and also providing accommodation for the officers in charge. It was a substantial and superior type of building containing six rooms at ground level, build over a large stone cellar with five rooms and a toilet upstairs.

During 1905 the owners at that time Messrs Breeds (brewers of High Street, Hastings Old Town) were involved in an arbitration case held in London with the Hastings Tramways company. This was concerning a strip of land in front of the building taken for road widening purposes. Breeds were awarded £700, a considerable amount in those days.

Ownership of the Fortune of War subsequently passed to Messrs George Beer & Rigden of Faversham, and was then obtained by Messrs Fremlins (the Maidstone brewers) in the 1950s.

It is extraordinary that the Hastings County Borough Council in the early 1960’s allowed such a well built and historic building to be destroyed when a set of traffic lights could have been the answer to a not too difficult traffic problem.