In 1850 Stansted College, a building in the Elizabethan style of architecture at the bottom of Red hill Road, had its first stone laid by its benefactor Charles Dixon Esq. of Stansted House and previously a merchant of London.
The inscription read that it was for “Six of his less fortunate brethren.” Opened for the reception of inmates on 1st May 1852, the six less successful gentlemen were above the age of so and not currently having an income of more than 5320 per annum, were of good character, Protestants and being widowers or bachelors.
Dixon endowed the building with £20,000 in public funds and a Trust was formed. The college closed its doors to the old inmates at the end of the t950’s. The last resident was a Mr Hind marsh and his caretaker, Mr Aylesbury who many people still remember as a little white-haired old man.
He used to lean on the wall outside and chat to passers-by. Some he invited inside and people mentioned hearing the sound of running water under the building and the beauty of the wooden panelling. One young man remembers being told to be quiet when passing the College on the way to Redhill School because of the old men who lived there.
Stansted College was refurbished in late 1960s and became the Stansted Country Club. This was demolished and replaced in 1971 with a small development of houses, Stansted Close.
“This article is taken from the booklet written by Mary Jane Lomer entitled ‘Round and About Rowlands Castle’ 2015, for which she retains the copyright.”