Parish of St. Nicholas, Rochester
These properties contained various tenements and warehouses, two public houses, a blacksmith's forge, and the Customs House. The buildings closest to the bridge were pulled down in 1738 to widen the bridge approach, and all the remaining buildings except the Customs House were removed in 1774 to widen Bridge Lane (aka Chapel Lane). The Customs House was removed in 1846 during the construction of the Victoran bridge.
Tenement near Town Quay
The tenement near the Town Quay comprised commercial premises bounded by the bridge wharf and the town quay containing 78 feet of wharf frontage and an area of about 0a.0r.11p. and 23 square yards. Originally described as one tenement and a garden, the premises by 1611 also included a storehouse or warehouse, and in 1657 these buildings were combined into one lease and described in successive leases as two tenements, yard, and wharf. Sometime during the 18th century, the premises began to be used as the customs house, and from 1809 were let to the Commissioners of His Majesty's Customs. A surveyor's report in 1807 describes the property as follows: The Premises consist of a Yard and Timber Wharfing next the River Medway 78 feet frontage - The Timber Wharfing being kept in repair by the Bridge & not by the Lessee. Also one House or Brick Dwelling containing on the Ground floor two good Parlours a kitchen & Out buildings, on the first floor two good Chambers, and on the second floor three very good Bed Rooms . . . also one other Tenement . . . containing on the Ground floor two offices, a warehouse and a Shed, and on the first floor, a ware Room in the Roof of the above Warehouse, and an office beyond it - all in the occupation of the Custom House as undertenants".Rent Analysis
The rent for the combined premises increased steadily from £1 6s. 8d. (£18 3s. 2d. per acre) in 1577 to £10 (£136 4s. 1d. per acre) in 1788, before rising sharply to £50 (£681 0s. 3d. per acre) in the lease to HM Customs in 1809. In 1846 the buildings were pulled down by the Bridge Wardens to make way for the new Victorian bridge.
Tenement on Corner of High Street
The tenement on the corner of Bridge Lane and the High Street comprised a residential and commercial property containing about 37 feet of frontage to Bridge Lane and about 18 feet 6 inches return frontage along the High Street, making an area of approximately 0a.0r.2p. and 16 square yards. Originally two tenements, the premises had been combined into one lease in 1602 and into one tenement by 1633.Rent Analysis
Rents rose steadily from £1 10s. (£95 9s. 8d. per acre) in 1577 to £2 16s. (£178 4s. 7d. per acre) in 1713. The Bridge Wardens repossessed the premises in 1727, after which date the property often stood vacant. In 1749 the Bridge Wardens rebuilt the premises, which were leased at £5 5s. (£334 3s. 8d. per acre) in 1750, rising to £7 (£445 11s. 6d. per acre) in 1772. In 1775 the premises were pulled down for the widening of Bridge Lane.
Second Tenement from Corner
The second tenement from the corner of Bridge Lane and the High Street comprised a residential and commerical property containing 41 feet of road frontage to Bridge Lane and an area of approximately 0a.0r.2p. and 19 square yards. The 1577 survey described it as "one tenement, formerly three tenements, namely a hall, a kitchen, and a workshop called a smith's forge, togther with chambers above them". It continued as one tenement until 1688, when it was divided into two. By 1627 it had become a public house, and successive leases describe it as a "messuage or tenement known by the sign of the Mermaid".Rent Analysis
Rents rose gradually from £1 13s. 4d. (£101 4s. 3d. per acre) in 1577 to £2 18s. (£176 1s. 7d. per acre) in 1722. In 1749 in was taken into hand and let on a variety of tenancies at will, bringing in a rent varying between £3 3s (£191 5s. 2d. per acre) and £5 5s. (£318 15s. 3d. per acre). In 1775 the Bridge Wardens pulled down the premises for road widening.
Third Tenement from Corner
The third tenement from the corner of Bridge Lane and the High Street comprised according to the leases a residential property containing 27 feet of wharf frontage, but the 1687 terrier gives the dimension as 31 feet in length along the wharf and 52 feet in breadth between the wharf and Bridge Lane. These latter dimmensions are followed here, making an area of approximately 0a.0r.5p. and 28 square yards. Successive leases describe the premises simply as a messuage or tenement until 1717, when the house is described as "the messuage or tenement now divided into two tenements".Rent Analysis
Rent increased steadily from 13s.4d. (£17 19s.11d. per acre) in 1577 to £2 10s. (£67 11s. per acre) in 1717. When the lease expired in 1738, the property stood vacant for several years and then was let to various tenants at will, bringing in a combined rent that varied between £4 10s. (£121 11s.9d. per acre) and £7 10s. (£202 12s.11d. per acre). One of the tenements was pulled down by the Bridge Wardens in 1764 and the other in 1774.
Fourth Tenement from Corner
The fourth tenement from the corner of Bridge Lane and the High Street comprised a residential property containing 34 feet of wharf frontage and an area of approximately 0a.0r.5p. and 19 square yards. The 1633 lease described it as "now converted into two tenements," and it continues to be so described in successive leases.Rent Analysis
The rent increased steadily from 12s. (£17 1s. 8d. per acre) in 1577 to £2 7s. 6d. (£67 12s. 6d. per acre) in 1702. Between 1734 and 1742 the premises were vacant, but in 1743 the two tenements were let separately, the combined rents rising from £4 17s. 6d. (£138 16s. 2d. per acre) in 1744 to £7 (£199 6s. 4d. per acre) in 1758. In 1774, the premises were pulled down by the Bridge Wardens to widen Bridge Lane.
Fifth Tenement from Corner
The fifth tenement from the corner of Bridge Lane and the High Street comprised a small residential property containing 18 feet of wharf frontage and an area of approximately 0a.0r.2p. and 21 square yards. In 1583 it was described as "a messuage or Tenement or Cotage (sometyme a fforge)," and it continued to be described in successive leases simply as a messuage or tenement until the 1750 lease, which says "two small brick fronted messuages or tenements formerly but one with 18 feet of bridge wharf".Rent Analysis
Rents rose gradually from 10s. (£29 10s. 4d. per acre) in 1583 to £1 15s. (£103 6s. 2d. per acre) in 1714. The rebuilt tenements brought an improved rent of £4 (£236 2s. 7d per acre) in 1750 and beginning in 1771, when the two tenements were briefly let separately, a combined rent of £8 (£472 5s. 1d. per acre). In 1774, the premises were pulled down by the Bridge Wardens to widen Bridge Lane.
Sixth Tenement from Corner
The sixth tenement from the corner of Bridge Lane and the High Street comprised a small residential property containing 18 feet of wharf frontage and an area of approximately 0a.0r.2p. and 21 square yards. A six-foot passageway from Bridge Lane to the river reserved for use of the Bridge Wardens bordered the property on the south. In 1721 part of this was incorporated into the lease, increasing the wharf frontage to 20 feet 6 inches and the area to 0a.0r.3p. and 2 square yards. The property contained a tenement formerly called the Lymehouse, which was "rebuilt and converted into a dwelling House" between 1721 and 1754.Rent Analysis
The rent had risen gradually from 10s. (£29 10s. 4d. per acre) in 1621 to 20s. (£51 17s. 4d. per acre) in 1721, but continued without increase in consideration of the rebuilding by the tenant. Following the ejectment of the tenant, who was using the house as an alehouse contrary to the provisions of the lease, the house was relet in 1755 at an improved rent of £4 (£207 9s. 4d. per acre), before being pulled down by the Bridge Wardens in 1774 to widen Bridge Lane.
Seventh Tenement from Corner
The seventh tenement from the corner of Bridge Lane and the High Street comprised a commercial and residential property bordering the bridge approach containing 60 feet of wharf frontage and an area of approximately 0a.0r.8p. and 5 square yards. Let at 13s. 4d. rent (£13 1s. 9d. per acre) from 1577 to 1585, it was then taken in hand by the Bridge Wardens and used for storage by the bridge workmen. Let again in 1621 at 30s. rent, it was described in the lease as "one messuage or tenement fomerly called the Storehouse and Payhouse at the east end of the bridge and wharf adjoining thereto containing 60 feet of frontage on west side of Chapel Lane". The 1657 lease noted that the tenement was "now Converted into two Dwelling Howses," and the 1704 lease added that it had become a public house "now known as The Swan with Two Necks".Rent Analysis
The rent increased gradually from £1 10s in 1621 (£29 8s. 8d. per acre) to £4 (£78 9s. 10d. per acre) in 1725. In 1736, the lease was purchased by the Bridge Wardens and the house taken down to widen the bridge approach.
Mason's Yard and Workshop
Following the road widening in the 1770s and the removal of all buildings except the Customs House, the remaining land between the Customs House and the bridge was let as a "mason's yard and workshops". Described in an 1823 surveyor's report as "a convenient little yard for business that requires Goods to be landed by water," together with sheds and crane, the premises contained about 0a.0r.24p. and 7 square yards as calculated by planimeter measurement of the plan attached to the Book of Reference to the Rochester Bridge Act 1846.Rent Analysis
Rents increased from £15 (£99 0s. 1d. per acre) in 1802 to £20 (£132 0s. 1d. per acre) in 1823, before decreasing to £12 (£79 4s. 1d. per acre) in 1835 when the crane ceased to work. In 1849 it was taken in hand for the construction of the Victorian bridge.
Southeast Side of Bridge Lane
Tenements and Forge South of the Bridge
Two properties were situated on the southeast side of Bridge Lane at the eastern end of the medieval bridge: a small tenement originally the 16th-century tollhouse and three adjacent tenements and a forge erected at the end of the 16th century. Only two plans survive: George Russell's 1717 estate map of Rochester urban property and a 1687 terrier which, although not drawn to scale, does show the dimensions of this roughly trapeziform piece of land southeast of Bridge Lane: 65 feet of frontage along Bridge Lane on the north, 16 feet of wharf along the Medway at the south, 88 feet of wharf along the Medway to the west, and 88 feet on the east along a lane leading from the river to Bridge Lane. This has been calculated as about 3,442 square feet or 0a.0r.12p. and 17 square yards. The small tenement or tollhouse contains 0a.0r.2p. and 28 square yards and the three tenements, forge, and wharf 0a.0r.9p. and 19 square yards.Rent Analysis
The rent for the small tenement rose steadily from 10s. (£27 4s. 10d. per acre) in 1583 to 25s. (£68 4s. 8d. per acre), before the premises were pulled down for road widening in 1748. A 50-year building lease at 1s.4d. rent (£1 2s. 3d. per acre) for the three tenements, forge, and wharf depressed the initial rental income for this residential and commercial property, but the rent rose sharply to £4 (£66 8s. per acre) in 1638 and thereafter increased gradually to £5 (£83 per acre), before the premises were pulled down for road widening in 1749.
High Street and Bridge Lane
The Crown Inn and Adjacent Shops
This roughly rectangular block of property on the southeast corner of the High Street and Bridge Lane contained along the High Street The Crown Inn and The City Arms (aka Maidstone Arms) Public House, on the corner three small tenements and a smith's forge bordering on the High Street to the north and Bridge Lane to the west, and along Bridge Lane a tenement known as the Chapel House, the Bridge Chapel (converted into a tenement), and the Bridge Chamber situated above the western entrance to the Crown Yard with access from the innyard. (The Bridge Chamber, which remained in hand throughout the period, raised no rental income.) From 1577 to 1751 the chapel and chapel house were combined in one lease, and from 1752 to 1858 both were let in one combined lease with The Crown Inn. In 1798, the three small tenements and smith's forge were pulled down, partly in order to widen Bridge Lane and partly to increase the garden and yard of adjacent City Arms public house. In 1862, the entire property, with the exception of the Bridge Chapel and Bridge Chamber, was let on a 75-year building lease and redeveloped to contain The Crown Public House, three shops on the High Street, two houses on the newly constructed Esplanade, and several tenements and buildings in the former Crown Yard now renamed Gundulph Square. Once again the property line was set back in order to widen the pavement along the High Street and the Esplanade.Adjusted Acreage
Because of the intermingled leases and the scarcity of early plans for this property, the adjusted acreage has been calculated for the entire site excluding the Bridge Chamber. The best-documented part of the site contained the three tenements and forge, measuring 44 feet along the High Street on the north, 71 feet along Bridge Lane on the west, 46 feet on the south, and 63 feet on the east. From 1577 until they were pulled down in 1798, these tenements were combined in one lease with a garden (later a tenement and coachmaker's workshop) in Bull Lane. Fortunately, plans exist for both. The 1731 survey of the property along the High Street and Bull Lane shows that the garden contained 0a.0r.9p. and 39 square feet, and a 1740 survey by Charles Sloane of the three tenements and forge shows by planimeter calculation 0a.0r.11p. and 44 square feet. From 1577 to 1797, then, the adjusted acreage of 0a.0r.20p. and 83 square feet for this corner property and garden has been based on these two 18th-century surveys. (After 1798 the garden on Bull Lane was let separately, and further consideration of it may be found with the other property at Number 17 High Street.) The adjusted acreage of the remaining property at the High Street and Bridge Lane has been based on a site plan drawn by Martin Bulmer in 1860 before the redevelopment. This plan shows the boundaries of the entire block, including the extended garden and yard of The City Arms after the 1798 demolition of the forge and tenements, and has been calculated by planimeter measurement to contain 0a.2r.7p. and 191 square feet. From 1577 to 1797, then, the adjusted acreage for the entire site has been based on a combination of the two 18th century plans discussed above and the 1860 plan, less the City Arms garden extension, making a total adjusted area of 0a.2r.18p and 235 square feet at the High Street and Bridge Lane plus 0a.0r.9p. and 39 square feet for the garden on Bull Lane. After the road widening and City Arms garden extension in 1798 until redevelopment in 1862 the adjusted acreage has been calculated by planimeter measurement to contain 0a.2r.10p. and 27 square feet. From 1862 to 1914 two additional surviving sources show the acreage. The plan attached to the 1867 lease for the redeveloped property excluding the Bridge Chapel has been calculated by planimeter measurement to contain 0a.1r.37p. and 19 square yards. The 1874 Book of Reference to the Rochester Bridge Estates as plotted on the 1866 Ordnance Survey Map (E01/02/113), however, allows slightly wider boundaries for the Crown yard at the western entrance under the Bridge Chamber and calculates the acreage in the lease as follows:
This latter measurement has been used for the adjusted acreage of the redeveloped site between 1862 and 1914.
From 1862 until it was taken into hand in 1877, the Bridge Chapel, having been converted into a dwelling house and shop, was let separately from the redeveloped property above. The 1874 Book of Reference to the Rochester Bridge Estates, as plotted on the 1866 Ordnance Survey plan (E01/02/113), gives the following description of the Bridge Chapel: "House & Shop, St. Nicholas, Rochester, Let to The Mayor, Aldermen and Citizens of Rochester, Comprising a Shop and dwelling house formerly part of the Old Chapel".
From the late 16th century to the early 19th century, the assessed rent per acre for this mixed-use, commercial and residential site rose gradually from £17 9s. 7d. per acre in 1577 to £98 11s. 2d. per acre in 1804. In 1805, after the expiration of the Crown Inn lease, the assessed rent increased sharply to £245 10s. 1d. per acre and further jumped to £328 19s. 4d., when the City Arms lease was renewed in 1815. Rents increased briefly in the years leading up to the redevelopment, but levelled off in 1862, when a 75-year building lease was granted for most of the site at £90 (£180 4s. 10d. per acre). Some uplift in assessed rents came from the converted Bridge Chapel, let separately at £223 9s. 3d. per acre rising to £355 3s. 11d. per acre before it was taken into hand in 1876, and from the converted Crown Inn stable, separated from the building lease in 1904 and let separately at £222 4s. 6d. per acre. Nevertheless, the building lease effectively capped the assessed rent per acre for the site, which between 1862 and 1914 averaged only £183 5s. 9d.
17 High Street
This L-shaped property bordered the High Street on the west, Bull Lane (aka Matthew's Lane aka Kirbie's Lane) on the north, the city wall on the east, and White Hart Lane (aka George Lane) and property of adjacent landowners on the south. The schedule on the detailed 1731 estate plan shows a total area of 0a.2r.23p and 139¼ square feet. The garden in the northeast corner of the site, bordering Bull Lane and the city wall and containing 0a.0r.9p. and 39 square feet, was originally let with the smith's forge on the High Street and Bridge Lane, until the forge was pulled down for road widening in 1798. From 1577 to 1797, therefore, the adjusted acreage for the entire property has been based on the acreage given in the 1731 plan less the acreage of this garden. From 1798 to 1857 the assessed rents and adjusted acreage for the property include the garden, on which had been built a tenement later converted into a coachmaker's workshop.
The entire property originally contained The Horseshoe public house (aka The Duke's Head), the Fleur de Lis public house, a tenement, and various outbuildings, stables, wash houses, and gardens. In the 16th and 17th centuries the tenement was sometimes combined with the lease for The Horseshoe, sometimes with The Fleur de Lis, and sometimes let separately. In 1687 John Head, having been granted leases in 1685 for The Fleur de Lis and the tenement, "pulled down the several messuages, stables, and outhouses and built a messuage called the Guildhall or Courthall." The guildhall premises included the prison and a house for the Sergeant of the Mace. From 1704 the new buildings were leased to The Mayor and Citizens of Rochester. The 1731 survey shows that the whole site contained, in addition to the guildhall and prison, The Horseshoe public house, six small tenements and various stables, wash houses, and gardens. In 1858, the East Kent Railway Company compulsorily purchased approximately 0a.0r.29p (calculated by planimeter measurement of a plan attached to the draft conveyance) including the coachmaker's workshop, two of the six tenements, and various outbuildings and garden. In 1863 the Rochester Corporation purchased most of the remaining property, leaving only a detached garden, described by the Charity Commission sealed order at its sale in 1893 as containing "about 400 square yards," but more precisely measured by Tonbridge surveyor E. Dann in 1874 as 0a.0r.16p. and 7 square yards. His Book of Reference to the Rochester Bridge Estates, as plotted on the 1866 Ordnance Survey map (E01/02/113), describes the property as follows: "Premises in George Lane, St. Nicholas, Rochester, Let to Mr. Thomas Aveling with a Brick and tiled forge and a Brick timber and tiled Workshop thereon".
Assessed rents for this urban property rose sharply at the beginning of the 19th century. Rent for the tenement increased from £2 15s. in 1796 to £20 in 1797 and £35 in 1818. Rent for the Guildhall increased from £16 in 1804 to £100 in 1805. Rent for The Duke's Head (formerly The Horseshoe) increased from £12 in 1811 to £76 in 1812. In that year the garden at the southeast corner of the property bordering George Lane and the City Wall was also let separately for £4 rising to £15 in 1816 and £24 in 1837. The workshop on Bull Lane, leased for £5 in 1798, rose to £15 in 1819. Altogether, in the 25 years between 1795 and 1820 the assessed rents for the entire site rose from £52 3s.7d. per acre to £372 11s. 2d. per acre.
91 and 93 High Street
Although the boundaries of this property, situated between the Common on the north and the High Street on the south, did not change between 1577 and 1914, attempts to measure the property have varied. It was described in the 1604 lease as containing 61 feet in width on the south, 41 feet in width on the north, and 246 feet north to south in length. The 1708 lease described the plot as 62 feet on the south, 50 feet on the north, and 240 feet in length, and these dimensions were repeated in subsequent leases through 1827. In his 1806 survey Daniel Alexander stated that "the Premises differ materially from the dimensions mentioned in the Lease" and gave the dimensions as 62 feet 8 inches by 43 feet 11 inches by 240 feet 6 inches. The earliest scaled plan of the premises (E25/15/026), drawn by Samuel Siddens in 1828 and attached to the 1828 lease and all subsequent leases, shows 62 feet 10 inches on the south, 43 feet 8 inches on the north, and 240 feet in length, calculated by planimeter measurement to contain 12,414 square feet. In 1874, the property was plotted by E. Dann on the 1866 Ordnance Survey Map, and the accompanying Book of Reference (E01/02/113, p.33) gives the following measurement:
This slightly higher measurement of 12,712 square feet has been adopted throughout the period.
Originally one tenement known as The Star public house, the property had been divided by 1604 into two tenements with yards, gardens, and orchard, and went through several subsequent rebuildings. It was let that year to John Tyndall and Robert Tyndall in consideration of the "new buildinge and betteringe of the premises" by Robert Tyndall their father. In 1688 Edward Moyse gained possession of the lease to Number 93 and was paying a combined rent for both properties from 1691. In 1708 he was given a new lease in consideration of £1,000 spent on building a new brick tenement described as "that new brick messuage with the brewhouse, stables, outhouses, yards, backside garden, ground and appurtenances." The 1874 Book of Reference describes it as follows: The Residence occupied by the Gas Company is brick and plaster built and tiled containing in the Basement 2 cellars and Kitchen. On the Ground floor an Office and 2 Sitting rooms. On the First floor 4 Bed rooms and on the Second floor 4 Bed rooms. Detached Wash house with Loft. The adjoining House occupied by Mr Harcourt contains a Cellar, Shop, 2 Sitting rooms, Kitchen, Wash House and 3 Bed rooms". Extensive alterations and additions were carried out to Number 91 in 1894, 1896, 1906 and 1908, and Number 93 was taken down and rebuilt in 1902.
North Side of High Street
Two Tenements and Wharf
This commercial property, situated north of Rochester High Street and numbered 4, 5, and 5a in the Book of Reference attached to the Rochester Bridge Act 1846, comprised two tenements and a wharf purchased in 1835 in anticipation of the construction of the Victorian bridge. The plan attached to the Book of Reference shows an area calculated by planimeter measurement to contain 0a.0r.27p. and 28 square yards.Rent Analysis
The property was purchased subject to a lease for £77 (£441 6s.9d. per acre). Upon expiry of the lease, the two tenements were let to a variety of tenants at will over the next two decades, producing an average assessed rent of £60 14s.5d. (£348 6s.7d. per acre), until the property was compulsorily purchased by the East Kent Railway in 1857.
Dwelling House, Wharf, and Premises
These mixed-use commercial and residential premises, located on the north side of the High Street between the High Street and the East Kent Railway bridge, comprised a dwellinghouse, a wharf, and storage yard. The 1874 Book of Reference to the Rochester Bridge Estates, as plotted on the 1866 Ordnance Survey Map (E01/02/113, p.29), gives the following description and measurement of the property: "Dwellinghouse, Wharf, & Premises, St. Nicholas, Rochester, Let to Mr. John Ross Foord and others, with a Brick built and tiled dwellinghouse containing in the Basement Kitchen, Wash house, and Cellar, on the Ground floor two offices, on the First floor three offices and on the Second floor two offices and a bedroom. Five Railway Arches and a Coal Wharf."
In 1862 the property was let on a 75-year building lease at £35 annual rent, yielding a rent per acre of £110 6s.6d. In 1886 the Southeastern Railway Company compulsorily purchased 0a.0r.17p. and 23 square yards, part of the coal wharf north of the East Kent Railway line, leaving 0a.0r.33p. in this holding. The rent was reduced to £19, yielding a rent per acre of £92 2s. 5d. for the remainder of the term of the lease.
Wharf and Coalyard between Bridge Approach and Railway
This small piece of land located at the corner of the Bridge Approach and Horsewash Lane between the roadway and railway bridges was first let as a coal wharf in 1869 and was eventually incorporated into the adjacent wharf and storage premises let to John Ross Foord. The 1874 survey, as plotted on the First Edition Ordnance Survey Map (E01/02/113, p.30), describes the premises as follows: "Land at Rochester Bridge, St. Nicholas, Rochester, In the occupation of Mr. Alfred Ransom."
The rent for this yard was 5s. (£13 6s. 8d. per acre) from 1869 to 1906 rising sharply to £5 (£266 13s.4d. per acre) from 1907 to 1914.
This irregularly-shaped piece of land on the north side of Love Lane in the parish of St. Margaret's, Rochester contained, according to the 1772 lease, 108 feet along Love Lane, 47 feet on the east, 77 feet 6 inches on the north, and 71 feet 5 inches on the west. A building plan that same year has been calculated by planimeter measurement to contain 0a.0r.21p. The 1874 survey, based on the 1866 Ordnance Survey map, gives a slightly smaller measurement of 0a.0r.20p. and 22 square yards, which has been followed for this property throughout the period. No attempt has been made to apportion this acreage among the various houses and gardens eventually built on the site. Although never officially part of Little Delce Manor, this property was let with the manor in a combined lease until 1751, and for these years it is included with the agricultural rents. Separate leases exist from 1751 until the property was sold in 1883. For these years the property is more accurately included with the urban rents.
Over the centuries the property was redeveloped several times with varying numbers of houses. From 1577 to 1625 the leases describe it as "one little tenement and garden in St. Margaret's parish, Rochester". The 1626 lease describes it as "two small tenements with garden sometime one tenement in parish of St. Margaret's", a description repeated in leases for the next 146 years. During the 1770s the property was redeveloped, and the 1772 lease describes it as "that newly built messuage or tenement convertible into and to be used as two habitations or dwelling houses with the gardens ground and premises thereto belonging situate in a certain lane called Love Lane". From 1809 to 1859 the property was divided: the large garden on the western side of the property was let separately from the house, and two additional small houses were eventually built in the garden. The 1817 lease mentions "that newly erected tenement or cottage and washhouse outbuildings and garden in Love Lane" and the 1838 lease "two messuages or tenements and washhouses outbuildings and gardens". In addition, from 1828 until their sale in 1857 the two small houses in Parrs Head Lane were included with the original house in Love Lane in a joint lease. After the East Kent Railway compulsorily purchased the Parrs Head Lane houses in 1857, the three Love Lane tenements were combined into one lease in 1860. Both the 1860 lease and the 1874 lease describe the Love Lane property as "three messuages or tenements with the yards and appurtenances belonging situate in Love Lane". The Book of Reference to the Rochester Bridge Estates as plotted on the 1866 Ordnance Survey map (E01/02/113) describes the property as follows: "Cottages and Premises, St. Margaret, Rochester Let to Mr. William Baker inluding a timber and tiled 5-room cottage, a timber and tiled cottage containing 3 rooms, and a brick and tiled 3-room cottage with gardens".
The property underwent yet further redevelopment before its sale in 1883, for the 1883 Conveyance describes it as "the two (formerly three) messuages tenements or cottages thereon and the garden yards buildings and appurtenances thereunto belonging".
The fluctuation of rent for this property resulted partly from inflation and partly from the redevelopment and intensification of the premises. During the first decade of the 19th century the rent rose steeply from £12 3s. 2d. per acre in 1802 to £54 0s. 9d. in 1803 to £81 1s. 2d. per acre in 1807. When the lease was split into two tenancies in 1809, the combined rent rose to £113 9s. 7d. per acre and to £135 1s. 10d., when the second new house was built in the garden. Overall, between 1753 and 1883 the assessed rent rose from £1 10s (£11 11s. 7d./acre) in 1753 to a high of £22 10s. (£153 18s. 8d./acre) in 1849 before falling back to £17 10s (£135 4s. 2d./acre) in 1883. The average over the 130-year period was £77 15s. 10d. per acre.
Parrs Head Lane
This small piece of land was situated on the south side of Parrs Head Lane (aka) Painters Lane (aka) White Horse Lane. According to the 1774 building plan, the plot measured 30' 4" by 21' 1", making a total of 640 sq. ft. (71 sq. yds). The 1579 lease to Henry Leaffe mentions a messuage or tenement "lately and newly builded by the said Henry vpon a vacant peece of grownd belonging to the said bridge". A century later the property had been divided into two, for the 1678 lease and subsequent leases describe it as the "messuage or tenement now converted into two small messuages situated in Painters Lane". From 1828 to 1857 the two houses in Parrs Head Lane and a house in Love Lane were let together in one lease, until the Parrs Head Lane property was compulsorily purchased by East Kent Railway in 1857.Rent Analysis
Between 1577 and 1751 the rents for the combined property rose gradually from 3s. 4d. (£11 7s .6d./acre) to 8s. (£27 5s./acre). From 1752 to 1827 the two small houses were let on separate tenancy-at-will agreements at £2 10s rent each, making a sharp increase to £5 (£340 12s./acre) in rent assessed for the combined property. The relatively expensive rents for these small houses without the security of a lease resulted in a high rate of rent arrears written off as bad debts during the second half of the 18th century.