Excerpt from “Bermuda’s Architectural Heritage: St. George’s”
The fine house known as Hillcrest was built on two early land grants. On the northern half stood the 17th century home of widow Alice Finney. To the south Daniel Jones erected a stone residence soon after it was granted in 1699. After Finney’s daughter married Jones, the two properties were joined to form one of the largest lots in the town. Ownership remains unclear after the Jones family died out in the 1750s, but a house was standing on the lot when Mary Leacraft and Richard Minors sold the property to Richard Prudden in 1789. The deed to a neighbouring property reveals that Prudden was living there three years earlier as a tenant.
Originally from Southampton, Prudden was a highly successful merchant who channeled his profits into purchasing many of the lots surrounding Hillcrest.
Where did the name Aunt Nea’s Inn come from?
In 1804, noteworthy Irish poet Thomas Moore was living at the Inn as a guest of the American Consul where he met his unrequited love and inspiration for the poem Odes to Nea, Hester “Nea” Tucker. Nea lived adjacent to the property and was the wife of William Tucker, making such a poem of romantic and infatuated prose notably more scandalous. While Moore’s stay in Bermuda was brief, the poem lives on as a tale of Moore’s romanticism of the island.
Read more about Tom Moore here.