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Area of outstanding architectural interest

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.

The twenty-three acres of gardens and lawns of the central valley, including the Old Steine, the Royal Pavilion grounds, Victoria Gardens, St Peter’s Churchyard, the Level and the private Park Crescent, are collectively known as the Valley Gardens. This flat area, once known only as the Steine and the Level, probably remained undeveloped because of its swampy nature with the intermittent Wellesbourne flowing its length, and has long been used as a public open space.
Valley Gardens is also the name given to the outstanding conservation area along the valley which displays many fine examples of Regency architecture; it was extended in 1988 to include Hanover Street and Hanover Terrace, and again in 1989 to include Prince’s Street, Steine Gardens, and the former court building and music library in Church Street. To facilitate an exploration of the conservation area the terraces lining the gardens from the Royal Pavilion to the Level are detailed here.

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.

Postcard showing Old Steine Gardens: part of Valley Gardens, c.1904.
Image reproduced with kind permission from Brighton and Hove in Pictures by Brighton and Hove City Council

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