Lower Roedale Farm

Lower Roedale Farm - undated
From a private collection
Photographed in 1991, shows hurricane damage
From the private collection of Mr D. Catherall
Lower Roedale in 2007
Photo by Simon Cooper

I have kindly been given more information to add to the history of the flint buildings of Lower Roedale Farm at the end of Stanmer Villas. The many local references to ‘Roe’ in place names came from the ownership of land in the area by William Roe, who bought it as part of the Withdean estate in 1793. Roe’s passions included tree planting such as the ‘Down Hill Plantation’ – the surviving copse behind the flint buildings. The copse running to the side of Burstead Close, known locally by some as ‘Jake’s Wood’ may also be a Roe planting.

The farm and Golf House
The undated photo shows Lower Roedale Farm buildings with Golf House and its distinctive roof, set apart in the fields behind and a chalk quarry in the foreground. The quarry remained after the building of houses and formed the steep bank from Hollingbury Rise West down into back gardens in Stanmer Park Road. Golf House has survived due to being home to a colony of protected bats and is now completely surrounded by housing. The large barn would have stood on the site of the present Lower Roedale Cottages which were built in 1939 as housing for Parks & Gardens employees.

Farmhouse demolished in 1960s
However the Victorian farmhouse screened by trees was demolished in the mid 1960’s to allow for the building of Brentwood Road. Although entitled ‘Hollingbury Park’ this picture could have been taken at a time of change when the first plans for the public park were drawn up in 1901, which included Lower Roedale. After ceasing to be a farm the flint buildings were used as storage for many years as part of the Corporation Parks and Gardens nurseries.

Hurricane damage
The final photo taken in 1991 from the bank behind the flint buildings, shows the scant remains after years of disrepair and the damage of the 1987 hurricane. The ruins were preserved after intervention from the Preston Society and eventually rebuilt in the original style to provide self contained flats.

Viewed in 2007
The view of Lower Roedale in 2007 was taken from Hollingbury Rise West – with the surviving dairy building in the foreground and Golf House in the midst of blocks of flats although happily some copse remains.

Comments about this page

  • I too currently live in Barnett Road and was brought up in nearby Dudley Road. I’m replying after more than a year to Chris’s posting. The Nibletts, as mentioned, lived in Dudley Road and his shop was a general store and at one time a photographers. I thought the sweet shop on the corner of Roedale Road was Eastwoods or Knights. Just the thought of it brings back memories of Palm Toffee bars and stopping there on the way to school for goodies. I too went to Hertford Road junior school and remembered with fondness Miss Tugwell and Miss Budd. The older class was taken by Mr Hickman, whose son I believe became a teacher at Dorothy Stringer. As kids we used to play on the buildings of Hollingdean estate as it was being built. Nearby at Hollingbury Wildpark we had different names for the woods. Hollingbury Woods was always the Beech Woods, the name going out of use after the 1987 hurricane. The woods behind the old golf-house were the Ivy Woods as I recall, but I cannot remember the name of the now Burstead Woods. Further over Woodside was the Ghost Woods and nearer the Wildpark coomb it was the Skeleton Woods. I’ve only just discovered this website and will no doubt post further comments at a later stage.

    By Peter (21/07/2009)
  • Yes I was the baby in the family of Curds who lived in DudleyRoad. I still have a friend Barbara Davis, and know Bobby Parfitt from Dorothy Stringer reunions.

    By Jenny Shaw(curd) (15/02/2011)
  • We called the Wild Park, ‘The Giant’s Foot’.

    By Jenny Shaw (12/08/2012)
  • Jenny, I’m sure the Giant’s Foot is the part of the Wild Park opposite Moulsecoomb – the part with the cafe and where they play football. From above, the shape resembles a foot.

    By Janet Beal (14/08/2012)
  • Living in Rotherfield Crescent in my youth we could easily walk across Hurst Hill onto the open field leading off Cuckmere Way and up onto the Ditchling Road. On crossing the road our first encounter then was the golf course and the views out over Moulscoombe. So ducking between flying balls we then came down towards the top, of what we also called, the Giant’s Foot. In summer with full bushes and trees maybe it was not so obvious but from the top looking down it really did resemble a huge foot. Our dog loved that walk. He’d spend hours rummaging in and through the bushes in the hopes of a rabbit nudging its way up the burrow. To my knowledge he never caught one but became wildly enthusiastic at the possibility. Fun times.

    By Sandra Bohtlingk (nee Baldwin) (15/08/2012)
  • Having mentioned I lived in Rotherfield Crescent this was of course in Hollingbury itself. So our view of the Giants foot was always from the top, although I can remember a big family picnic at the lower end of the park when I was still quite young. I also remember my neighbour used to walk from Hollingbury, over the fields, down the Giant’s Foot into Moulsecoomb each day to his work. Quicker than buses, I’ll bet! This would have been in the late 50s.

    By Sandra Bohtlingk (nee Baldwin) (17/08/2012)
  • Hi to everyone interested in the history of Brighton. Google The James Gray Collection; almost a time machine. (Historical heaven!!)

    By Martin Phillips (01/11/2012)
  • I was born in 3 Lower Roedale Cottages. They used to be enclosed in a yard at the end of Stanmer Villas before Brentwood Rd was extended. My father was transferred to work at Waterhall G. C. where we lived for 7yrs. He then returned to work at Hollingbury G.C. And we moved to a flat in Horton Rd when new. I remember Nibletts, the ivy woods etc.

    By Avril Dean (27/04/2013)
  • I’ve been resident at Old Golf House for over 25 years and it’s been a privilege to live in this fine old house, which seems to stand firm through the years despite being nearly 150 years old. I absolutely love the old photograph showing our house on the hill. It’s the only one I’ve seen. There were still old wooden outhouses at the back of us when we moved in in 1987, although these were demolished when the house was renovated in 1992. Thanks for this fascinating page!

    By Carol Edwards (15/09/2013)

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