The Mystery of Straw’s Castle – what was it and where exactly was it?

By Paul Draper

If we look at early maps of Fairlight, we see the name “Straw’s Castle” shown somewhere in the region of The Haddocks. The name continues well into the 20th century but so far we have been unable to find out anything about it. Do you have any information to help us?

I attach an extract of a map from 1813 to show the location:

I also attach a copy from Pike’s Directory of 1885, showing a James Harvey as living at “Straws Castle”. This suggests it was habitable and not just a geographical feature:

I attach another extract, from a Kelly’s Directory in the 1930s. Clearly it was a recognised local address. The other locations are still in existence and well known to us all. The stated measurements are from St. Andrew’s Church:

The only other recent reference to Straw’s Castle features in 1989 when the name features in the FRA-prepared village directory – Straws Castle was to open at The Barn, Waites Lane. However, we suspect that this was simply the re-use of an old local name:

There are no photographs and, so far, no-one has come forward with any evidence or story of this place. Can anyone help? Do you know anything about it or possibly an older friend or relative might have an anecdote or recollection.

Please contact us if you can.

By Paul Draper.

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