Parish of Frindsbury, Kent — Quarry, Wharf, and Farm on Frindsbury Peninsula
Located on Frindsbury peninsula in the lower Medway valley, this property comprised a chalk quarry, a wharf, farm buildings, and arable and marsh land known as Quarry Farm variously measured as 23 acres in 1577, 24 acres in 1599, 22a.1r.25p. in 1747, and 28a.1r.31p. in 1767. In 1833 the Wardens purchased the adjacent and intermingled Eslingham Farm. James Gouge's 1834 estate map shows 28a.1r.30p. in Quarry Farm and 43a.2r.20p. in Eslingham Farm, making a total of 72a.0r.10p., much of which was salt marsh. The 1874 survey shows a total acreage of 100a.3r.24p. and describes the property as follows:
"The Quarry Farm, Frindsbury In the occupation of Mr. William Patten Hayman, with the Quarry House, brick and tiled containing 2 parlors, kitchen, pantry, scullery, 4 bedrooms and an attic. 2 cottages adjoining. "The Cottage on the Cliff" Beer House, timber and felt, containing kitchen, parlor, bar, taproom and 2 bedrooms. A bailiffs house brick and tile built containing 6 rooms. Barn, cattle shed, 3 lean-to sheds, piggery, a range of 5 cottages and 2 pairs of cottages, cement sheds and a cooperage."
Following settlement of a dispute with the Ecclesiastical Commissioners about marsh boundaries, the acreage in the 1879 lease decreased to 74a.0r.33p. From 1905 onwards only 33a.2r.14p. was leased, the rest of the salt marsh remaining in hand.Adjusted Acreage
Because of certain discrepancies between the acreage given in the leases and the acreage shown on the estate plans before 1834, the following table shows the adjusted acreage used to calculate the rent per acre:
From 1834 to 1914 accurate acreage is given in the leases.
Located on the rural-urban fringe of Rochester, the Frindsbury property contained a combination of agricultural, industrial, and residential usage. Beginning in 1834 various residential properties were separated from the agricultural lease. Between 1835 and 1864 Quarry House and the garden containing 0a.2r.32p. were let for £15 (£24 8s. 7d./acre). Between 1843 and 1878 "about half an acre" of land containing a wharf and five cottages increasing to eight cottages was also let for £10 (£20/acre) in 1843 rising to £36 (£72/acre) by 1871. All of these premises were eventually re-united with the farm lease, but during this period these residential rents inflate the Frindsbury total assessed rent per acre around 50% above the agricultural rent.
Although earlier lessees had used the river frontage for limited commercial use, the industrial development of the Frindsbury estate really began with the 1867 lease for the chalk quarry. For centuries the Bridge Wardens had kept the quarry in hand to provide chalk to maintain the piers and starlings of the medieval stone bridge. Following the opening of the new cast iron bridge in 1856 and the removal of the medieval bridge, there was no further need for chalk, and the quarry was let for £10 surface rent, £50 minimum royalty, and further royalties of 4d per ton for block chalk and 2d per ton for small chalk exceeding 1000 tons in any half year, producing a minimum rent of £60 (£80/acre) in 1867 rising to £110 (£146 13s. 4d./acre) in 1872 before dropping back to £45 (£46 15s. 1d./acre) between 1875 and 1883.
In 1884, the entire Frindsbury estate was divided into two leases to Messrs Tingey and Son: a 21-year lease for 47a.1r.11p. salt marsh at a rent of £35 (14s. 10d./acre) and an 80-year lease for Quarry House Farm containing 26a.3r.22p. of upland, wharf, and cottages and also 1a.1r.31p with landing stage formerly let separately and a licence to quarry chalk for 80 years with a royalty premium of £146 per annum for the first 10 years in addition to the £170 rent, producing a total rent of £316 (£11 1s. 3d./acre). During the 30 years between 1884 and 1914, the latter site was occupied by the Tingey and Son Cement Works, the Quarry Cement Works, the Beaver Cement Works, the Beehive Cement Works, and the Associated Portland Cement Manufacturers. When the lease for the marshland expired in 1905, any surviving agricultural usage ceased. Between 1905 and 1914 The Associated Portland Cement Manufacturers leased a small piece of salt marsh at £12 10s rent (£6 10s. 6d./acre), C. Bessent & Son had a yearly tenancy of a timber pond at £20 rent (£16 11s. 7d./acre), and Gill & Sons operated a barge building yard at £9 rent (£4 4s. 6d./acre).
These industrial rents, although artificially suppressed by the long lease for the cement works, contrast sharply the much lower agricultural rents. Between 1577 and 1833 the agricultural rent gradually increased from 2s. 1d. assessed rent per acre to £1 15s. 6d., before dropping back to 12s. 3d. per acre in 1834, when Quarry House was removed from the lease. Between 1834 and 1878, while the house and cottages were let separately, the agricultural rent again rose from 12s. 3d. to a high of £1 0s. 8d. before falling back to 16s. 11d. per acre. When the cottages were again briefly included in the farm lease in 1879, the agricultural rent increased sharply to £1 12s. 4d. per acre. Between 1884 and 1905, when the house, cottages, and buildings were removed from the farm lease and redeveloped as industrial premises, the salt marsh produced an assessed agricultural rent of only 14s. 10d. per acre.