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Waterloo Street Arch: Grade II

Development of Brunswick Town

Advertisement for Du Pont’s Riding Academy

The development of Brunswick Town in the 1820s was planned such that no shops would be built within the area of the estate. In order to supply the needs of the growing development, Wilds and Busby constructed a large Market House, in Lower Market Street but accessed from a roadway off Waterloo Street. The Market House was opened in 1828, but by 1839 other shops had opened around the area and with patronage of the Market declining, the building became a Riding School.

Robert’s Riding School

Initially being known as Robert’s Riding School, by 1856 the proprietor had changed from Thomas Roberts to Charles Poole and was subsequently known as the ‘West End Riding School’. With the death of Charles Poole in 1875, Alfred Du Pont took over the running of the establishment and in the 1880s bought it for £2,800. The premises were rebuilt, with a new archway fronting the access from Waterloo Street and named ‘Du Pont’s Military Riding Establishment’.

Archway restored in 1986

The archway is render over brick; it is a single storey with one bay. It has a segmental-headed archway opening with keystone moulded entablature and small segmental pediment. The recessed panels to pilasters have a diamond motif in the centre of each pier. In 1896 the building was used to garage the cars that competed in the first Brighton Car Rally. Shortly after the turn of the century Thomas Allen took over the riding school and the building has more recently been used as a warehouse and bacon/ham smoking manufactory. The archway was listed as Grade II in September 1971. Plans were submitted in 1978 to convert the buildings into a centre for the arts to commemorate its 150th anniversary, but it was not until 1986 that the buildings and archway were fully restored to their former glory.

Click on the images below to open a large version in a new window.

The Waterloo Street Arch photographed in 1973

The Waterloo Street Arch photographed in 2012

Comments about this page

  • Is this on the right hand side with your back to the sea? I lived in the basement of number 2 where my mum was the caretaker for the building. For the Queen’s coronation we had a party in a large garage on that side of the road, opposite to where we lived. I was only 4 years old at the time but it looks similar to me. We left there about 1954 and moved to Preston Circus.

    By Anne Newman (08/04/2012)
  • Hi Anne, the archway is on the opposite side of the road to what you mention, ie on the western side of Waterloo Street, or the left hand side with your back to the sea. The building was originally numbered #21A and is about half way up the road. If you lived at #2, you probably mean Chapel Mews, which was almost opposite. Regards

    By Andy Grant (09/04/2012)
  • Judging by the slope uphill from left to right in the first photo Anne, I would say that the arch is on the left going up from the sea ie on the west side. 

    By Alan Hobden (09/04/2012)
  • Yes, I see what you both mean. So what has happend to the garage and Chapel Mews? We had a good time at the party, loads of people and us kids, still got the photo. Mum knitted jumpers with the coach and horses on for my brother and I.

    By Anne Newman (10/04/2012)

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