Church and community

Please note that this text is an extract from a reference work written in 1990.  As a result, some of the content may not reflect recent research, changes and events.

c) BUILDINGS: The estate church of St Andrew, Hillside, was consecrated on 23 June 1934 and replaced an earlier temporary church removed from Lewes in 1922. Built with a squat tower, tiny spire and transepts, the church has a roof which was intended to resemble an upturned fishing boat (St Andrew was a fisherman), and contains some modern murals. The parish was united with Stanmer and Falmer from 1956 until 1976. St George’s Hall, a chapel of ease in Ringmer Road for North Moulsecoomb, opened in May 1930 but was rebuilt as a community centre in 1989. The R.C.Church of St Francis of Assissi in Moulsecoomb Way was converted from an Anglican chapel in 1953, the same year as the nearby MoulsecoombBaptistChurch opened. The latter was derelict and acquired by the council in 1988 for the erection of the Moulsecoomb Community Leisure Centre, scheduled to open late in 1990. Moulsecoomb Hall, a community centre in Lewes Road, opened in 1946. Moulsecoomb Library originally opened in a room at Moulsecoomb Place in December 1929, but the permanent library was opened on 13 March 1964 by the mayor, Stanley Deason, on the site of a lodge. {83,110a,123}
The estate’s most famous resident was William Havergal Brian (1896-1972) who lived at 130 Hillside in the 1920s. Largely self-taught, he found initial success with his music, but his later work was neglected and he descended into obscurity. While living at Moulsecoomb in 1927, Brian wrote the GothicSymphony which, requiring 200 players, was the biggest symphony ever written. However, the work was not performed until 1961 and it was only then that he was recognised as one of the greatest of British composers. In all, Brian composed thirty-two symphonies, five operas and many other works, and a plaque has been erected on his former house. {123,255a}

Any numerical cross-references in the text above refer to resources in the Sources and Bibliography section of the Encyclopaedia of Brighton by Tim Carder.

Comments about this page

  • I loved this church, I had my first holy communion there in 1975. Mrs Pope was there then, great little church.

    By Bridget (06/12/2007)
  • That library in Moulsecoomb Place. My sister, Bet would get me an adult book to read when we visited the library. I’d look round with her and choose then she’d get it from the assistant. To me at the knowing age of twelve, the younger generation books were too tame whereas the adult ones were most interesting and often exciting! The smell of the place was quite something. I suppose nowadays it would be described as smelling old.

    By Ron Spicer (04/07/2008)
  • Thank you for this information. I am a great lover (Dutch) of Havergal Brian’s music. Nice to see the plaque! Brian is certainly among the giants, but that view isn’t very widespread (so I have to disagree with ‘he was recognised as one of the greatest of British composers’, more’s the pity). But – the century is still young…

    By Johan Herrenberg (19/07/2008)
  • Nice photo of Hillside. I was born in Brighton and lived in Hillside from around 1950 to 1962 when we moved to Portsmouth as my father was in the Navy. We lived at number 76, great times when we were kids. Finding this site has bought back loads of memories. Does anyone remember the Sutton family? Would love to hear from you.

    By Janice Illingworth (Sutton) (20/05/2012)

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