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The opening on Empire Day 1906

Hove Park was opened in 1906, and in that year the famous ‘Goldstone’, which previously stood for many years in farmland at Goldstone Bottom was moved there. If you want to read about the legend surrounding the ‘Goldstone’ you can do so here.

The park covers almost 40 acres and features a mix of large areas of open grass, mature trees, flower beds and recreational facilities. At the eastern edge of the Park is the ‘Fingermaze’, a piece of public sculpture carved into the park and lined with stone and lime mortar. The Fingermaze is a giant fingerprint which incorporates a Cretan labyrinth within its whirling design.

You can read more about Hove Park and its facilities here.

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

Empire Day 1906: the opening of the new Hove Park
From the private collection of Gordon Muggeridge

Comments about this page

  • What are the buildings in the background of the photo?

    By Julie Annets (15/08/2012)
  • That’s a good question Julie; at first I thought it was looking north towards Goldstone Pumping Works, ie the corner of Nevill Road, that would make the building to the left the Greyhound Stadium site, which would have been open fields in 1906. The stadium was not built till the 20’s/30’s. My next guess is looking south-west towards Sackville and Old Shoreham Road junction. The Chimney would be from Hove Corporation Electricity Works, which was on the site of St Josephs Close. To the left would have been the Brighton & Hove Albion ground, which started in 1901, on the site of Goldstone Farm. Of course the big stands of the 40s, 50s would not have been there, however they did put a 8 ft fence round the ground in the very early days; perhaps that is what’s seen!

    By Peter Groves (17/08/2012)
  • There’s a photo here of the Sackville/Football Ground/Hove Park area, 1921; The Hove Electricity Works Chimney can be seen, also the football ground in its infancy and the big farm building behind it. Not sure if it sheds any light on the mystery?

    By Peter Groves (17/08/2012)
  • I believe that the building in the background could be the Engineerium?

    By Jenny Bainbridge (17/08/2012)
  • Whe you open the photo and then enlarge, its clear that it is the Goldstone Pumping Works /Engineerium in the background, the chimney matches perfectly. I have no idea what the two “huge” objects are to the left, where the Greyhound Stadium now stands, it was not there in 1906, its a mystery?

    By Peter Groves (23/08/2012)
  • As you say Peter, that is clearly the Goldstone Pumping Station (now the British Engineerium) in the background. The tall chimney being on the left of the two large buildings means that the photo was taken  from the south east corner of the park looking north west.

    I am completely stumped by the inclusion in the photo of the two long, low objects in the distance on the left. As far as I know, there was nothing there until the Greyhound Stadium was built. The first race was held in 1928. Very strange! You can just make out the fence which originally surrounded the park, and the line of trees, in the distance.

    Empire Day in 1906 was 24 May, which was the date the new Hove Park was opened. (From that point the original Hove Park became known as Hove Recreation Ground.)

    By Alan Hobden (02/07/2018)
  • Hi Alan, thanks for bringing me back to this photo after 6 years, and yes I am also still completely stumped by the 2 long low objects, its a mystery, they must be huge in length.  Can anyone answer the mystery?

    By Mr Peter Groves (03/07/2018)
  • The buildings in the background I believe were a Nursery. Some of the old maps show these but don’t indicate if they were temporary or fixed. What I do know is in the fifties/sixties, before the Alliance building was built, we used to play in there and there were certainly footings from some old buildings that had been removed. Ideal for playing “war games” as kids. The Alliance building was subsequently knocked down and the whole area redeveloped with City Park and the Co-op (now Waitrose).

    By Mick Wright (03/07/2018)
  • The OS 6″ sheet for this area in 1911 shows a large orchard to the south of what becomes the dog track and some curious enclosed areas where these ‘buildings’ are. It is not clear what the enclosures represent. On the northern boundary of the site are the words ‘allotment gardens’ but they are not within the area with the enclosures, rather on the far edge, so still a mystery.

    By Geoffrey Mead (04/07/2018)
  • I lived in Hangleton during the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s. I went to School at Cottesmore which was a three mile walk, which went through Hove Park, we played in the ruins which were between the Dog Stadium and the Waterworks.  These were very small in comparison to the large construction seen in the photo, and I suspect the same buildings mentioned by Mick.  So in essence I think too small and it’s still a mystery!

    By Peter Groves (05/07/2018)
  • I had a look at the James Gray collection volume 17, photo 40/150. It shows the park from the East and describes it having a wooden fence all around it, that can be seen in the photo.

    By Mick Wright (06/07/2018)

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