Notes and Queries

Photo by Julia Powell

by Pat Sheehan, bookseller
e-mail sent to site 19 September 2002

Like an Art Deco ocean liner
“I live in Furze Croft, and I think it’s a gorgeous building. I love the curves, the light stone, the concrete waves around the circumference of the building. I feel as though I’m stepping onto a fantastic Deco ocean liner everytime I come into the lobby.

Captures the essence of living at the seaside
I can’t understand why, when so much care is taken to restore and conserve the Georgian, Regency and Victorian architecture, so little is done to help with the buildings built in the 20’s and 30’s…They say so much more about living in a seaside town.

Does anyone know where I can find any photos of Furze Croft around the time it was built?”

by Geoffrey Mead, local historian
e-mail sent to site 19 September 2002

Furze Croft is (as the message above makes clear) a wonderful set of Thirties blocks at the southern end of St Annes Well Gardens. It was advertised in a copy of the Brighton and Hove Herald in June 1936 as being brand new and there are some illustrations of it. However, on the newsprint of 66 years ago these are not very clear. During much of its life Furze Croft was a seen as a luxury development, and (I believe) as a development with a high proportion of Jewish inhabitants

Comments about this page

  • I agree, Furze Croft is a pretty building. I live opposite at Wick Hall, and am currently researching the history of the area. I found the original promotional literature for Wick Hall at Hove Museum, where there is an exhibit about housing in the area. The Local History library in Brighton is also worth investigating, as the old newspapers and telephone books from the 1930s give a real flavour of life at the time both Furze Croft and Wick Hall were built.

    By Lois Ellett (16/06/2003)
  • I live there too, it is a most unusual style building. My friend lives on the top floor – the views are super. On my floor, the first floor, I can see the hideaway and the back gardens

    By Anonymous (12/02/2004)
  • One thing that particularly amuses me at Furze Croft is the post box in the south tower. What a reminder of the decadence this building may have purported to offer, what with the back staircase for the ‘staff’ and the small kitchens, indicating that no substantial cooking was expected of the residents in the larger flats. The only disapointment is the lack of balconies; that’s why, for me, Wick Hall wins. Not only do I get to look at Furze Croft and enjoy the sight, but I can stand out on to my balcony and enjoy the openness towards the sea.

    By David Lilly (27/02/2004)
  • I live here, it’s a nice building shame the management company run it like a school. Does anyone know what font (type face) has been used on the driveway entrance signs?

    By Steven (25/10/2004)
  • I’m an American re-locating to Brighton. Friday, I was shown a lovely flat at Furze Croft. Even though it is only on the first floor, it has a lovely sea view, in a fantastic building. Expecting to move in next month.

    By James Vetter (11/12/2005)
  • In the late 50s I worked as a van boy for a firm in Crown Street off the Western Road. The firm was P. Panto & Co. On the side of the vans was a picture of a policeman arresting a cold, I think in the form of a burglar. The word JILPS was also on the vans being a cough sweet to arrest the cold. My boss was Mr. Hyme Panto, and sometimes we had cause to go to his apartment in Furze Croft to deliver stuff. Furze Croft had a large Jewish Community. I was fascinated by this lovely building, and the quietness that was around and inside it. The floors inside were polished and very shiny. I was also fascinated by the little scrolls that were on every door frame by the front door of the flats. I liked working for this firm, being owned by Jewish folk. We did not have to work on Saturdays.
    Lovely memories. Why don’t they design buildings as beautiful as this anymore? Art Deco forever.

    Mick Peirson.

    By Mick Peirson (06/11/2006)
  • I’ve owned a flat in Furze Croft for 10 years and have always loved it. It has been used as a holiday home since I bought it but now, due to work commitments, I will finally get to live there during the week too. And I can’t wait.

    By Sarah Morris (11/06/2007)
  • Talking of St Anne’s Well Gardens, does anyone remember Billy’s Little Cottage?

    By Andrew Seear (12/03/2008)
  • Does anybody know who built Furze Croft and who the architect was?

    By Peter James (20/04/2010)
  • I’m doing some maintenance drawings for this block at the moment, and I’m working from copies of the original plans from 1936. The Architects firm was Toms and partners in Mayfair, but the plans don’t have the individual architects name.

    By Jeff Barry (26/04/2010)
  • I was about 13 years old in 1942 when a German plane dropped incendiary bombs – I watched from my bedroom window in Codrington Mansions. It was fascinating to see the bombs falling from the airplane, but I was just a silly kid then. I was only allowed to go as far from home as I could run in five minutes, but the next day I was in St. Anne’s Wells and saw the black smoke marks on the walls of Furze Croft where a bomb had exploded. Those marks were there for years. June.

    By AJ in Canada (05/02/2011)
  • Comedian Kenneth Horne rented a flat in Furze Croft in the late 1950s.

    By Trevor Harvey (06/04/2013)
  • I can recall – as a very little boy – when War was declared in September 1939 – going to stay with my aunt and uncle, Arthur and Gertrude Carter, who had a large flat in Furz Croft, Hove. I can recall the impressive entrance hall and their spacious apartment – it was like living in another world. Rather like being aboard the Queen Mary! We only stayed for about a month before returning to our home in Dulwich. Then in 1940, when our home was in danger of being bombed, we left for another 1930s property on the Aldwick Bay Estate near Bognor Regis. Happy days!

    By Robert Worley (27/09/2016)
  • Robert Worley, that’s very interesting. Your Uncle and Aunt would no doubt have known my grandparents, Felix and Ethel Lion, who also lived at Furze Croft. My parents (their son Jacques) and Jean Lion also lived with them when first married. I don’t remember the number of the flat but I do remember visiting my grandparents when they were still living there in the 1960s and being taken for a walk after Sunday lunch to the West Pier – a great treat.

    By Sally Ann Roberts (25/05/2018)
  • Sally, this may be the address, as Kelly’s 1969 lists FJ Lion at 97 Furze Croft.

    By Geoffrey Mead (30/05/2018)
  • Hello everyone, I’m hoping someone may be able to help me trace a relative – Douglas Amos Collier who I believe lived at 65 Furze Croft, according to the 2003/2004 electoral register. Does anyone remember him? He would have been around 65 at that time.

    Sue James.

    By Sue James (04/08/2021)

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