Notes and queries
My partner and I both live at Wick Hall and very beautiful it is too. We are both interested in history and have heard that a Victorian country house once stood on the site where the present day Wick Hall now stands,and a Victorian boys prep school stood on the site where Furze Croft now stands.
Does anyone know where we could get pictures of these or does anyone have pictures? If anyone is interested in old country houses that are no longer extant, there is a wonderful book called The Destruction of the Country House, 1875-1975, produced by Sir Roy Strong, Marcus Binney and John Harris, published by Thames and Hudson.
Quite sad and heartbreaking to think how many lovely houses have been demolished over the years.
From Kenneth A. Skinner
Sent to website by e-mail on 20-08-03
I have been researching the history of Wick Hall and have found some great photos of this magnificent Victorian House built by a famous architect called Decimus Burton – who built the ornate Kew Palmhouse. This was commissioned by the entrepreneur Goldsmid (whose family and associates most of the local roads are named after) and stood on the site from 1840 until the early 1930’s before the current Wick Hall was built (1936 – the same year the Queen Mary liner was launched).
The house was demolished because the local council could not find a use for it – after considering using it for a museum when the owner sold the property to them.
I found this information at Hove Local History library and also the Encyclopedia of Hove (from City Books or Pavilion shop) – which has lots of detail on the farm and school buildings – the school stood close to the pond at St Anne’s Well gardens. The farm stood closer to Somerhill Road. There are some early prints at Brighton Museum showing the land around the ‘Temple’ (where Thomas Kemp lived, now the girls school) looking over the rough farm land where Wick Hall stands looking towards the newly built Brunswick Square.
Aerial photographs and old maps from Brighton Local History Library are also great sources – particularly for tracing the development of Wick Farm and the Chalybeate Spa.
From Lois Ellett
Sent to website by e-mail on 09-02-04