East Hook Farmhouse is a Georgian Farmhouse once forming part of the East Hook Estate.
The front part of the house dates back to around 1760, whilst the back part of the house is much older and appears to be part of an old Welsh long house. Internally, the staircase is a Chinese Chippendale dating to the late 19th century and reputed to be of one of five in Wales.
The history of East Hook can be traced back to September 1624 with a deed relating to a settlement on the marriage of a Thomas Wilkyn of Nesshooke (as it was then called) and Ellinor his wife.
In July 1661 a deed of gift was made between Dame Margaret Wogan and a William Bateman of Haverfordwest, which related to Nesshooke together with a water mill for the sum of £180.
Then in around 1673/74, a further deed of gift was made to William Bateman, which related to a watercourse running from land known as Waseland to Neshooke Mill together with an adjoining meadow for the sum of £10. (Waseland, or Walesland a farm lying to the north of the village of Lambston).
In around 1679/80 a lease for twenty-one years was granted for Nesshooke and Neshooke Mill to one William Bateman, the son of the William Bateman mentioned in the 1661 deed above, for an annual rent of 6d.
The mention of a water mill is of interest, but as to its exact whereabouts within the East Hook land, then no one knows, and none of the early maps show a water mill.
In October 1773 a lease made between John Lort of Prickeston and John Probert of Nesthook (East Hook) for the property with an annual rent of £92.10 and ‘Half a strike of Damson Plums’.
In June 1779, the property was leased by John Lort to a John Grinnish
All the above information has come from papers deposited at the National Library of Wales by Morgan & Richardson who were solicitors for numerous estates including Phillips of Haverfordwest, Lort and Lort-Phillips of Lawrenny.
Certainly, a John Lort owned East Hook in 1773, and from looking at the Land Tax Returns for the parish of Lambston in the period 1786-1790, it is clear that Nest Hook, as it appears in the return, was in the ownership of John Lort Esquire.
The 1840 tithe map for the parish of Lambston and in particular East Hook, reveals further information. East Hook farm covered some 240 odd acres and the property was shown on the tithe map as ‘Great East Hook’. There were other properties that formed part of East Hook, namely ‘Little East Hook’ and East Hook Cottages.
At the time of the 1840 tithe map, the land was in the hands of the Executors of one John Lort Phillips who had died in 1839.
In the 1841 census, there are three entries for East Hook. Firstly ‘East Hook Hall’, presumably the Georgian farmhouse, which was occupied by a Sophia Freeman and a Henry Freeman. The census does not state the relationship between the two, but both were stated to be of independent means. Secondly ‘East Hook Lodge’, which showed that there were two families living here, namely a Thomas and Elizabeth John and their 5 children, and also a George and Phebe Childs and their 3 children. Thirdly, ‘Little East Hook’, which had a John and Elizabeth Grinnish living there with their daughter.
From research, it would seem that ‘East Hook Lodge’ and East Hook Cottage, are one of the same, of which only a gable end wall remains today. Looking at early maps it would seem that this cottage was very small indeed, and that living accommodation would have been cramped to say the least, especially as the 1851 census shows no less than four families living at East Hook Cottage!
John Grinnish of ‘Little East Hook’ was 75 at the time of the census and he is believed to be the same John Grinnish that took out a lease from John Lort back in June 1779 for East Hook. Nothing remains of ‘Little East Hook’ today.
The 1851 census shows that a Richard Lort Philliips and Frederica, his wife, were living at East Hook. It shows that he was a farmer and that they had servants, namely a footman, a Lady’s maid, a cook and a kitchen maid.
Frederica was the eldest daughter of Baron de Rutzen of Slebech.
East Hook FarmIt would seem that the Lort Phillips’ owned East Hook up until June 1920 when Arthur Lort Phillips sold the East Hook Estate to one Benjamin Philpin, who co-incidentally had been tenanting East Hook since around 1900. So, from the records so far researched, it would seem that the Lort Phillips’ owned East Hook for around 150 years.
When Benjamin Philpin died in April 1942, his estate, which included East Hook became vested in his two daughters, Dilys James and Patsie Mathias, who then sold East Hook on to Bertie George and Hilda Dorothy Devonald of Knowles Farm, Lawrenny in July 1947.
Bertie George Devonald sold the farm on in May 1959 after his wife had died, to a David and Margaret Thomas.
And so to bring the story right up to date, on the 5th September 1997, the present owners Howard and Jen Patrick purchased East Hook from Roger Hugh Smith and William David Hill
The research is ongoing.