Built in 1846

Waggon and Horses, December 2003
by John Knight

This is the Waggon & Horses pub in Church Street, on the corner of Jubilee Street, and now the site of the new library.

It was built about 1846 and was originally a gymnasium. It became a pub in 1848.

If you go inside and look at the ceiling you are looking at a false one. The original ceiling is six feet higher and was made for the ropes and rings that hung down for the users to swing on.There is a pamphlet in the reference library showing the various exercises that could be undertaken using these rings and ropes.

Comments about this page

  • A nice picture, but could we please have a larger one?

    By Geoff (04/01/2007)
  • As well as a gym, the building served also as a fencing school run by Frederick Mahomed. It was one of four locations for sword play he had in Brighton and Hove at various times untill the 1860s.

    By Robert Wrightson (15/02/2007)
  • I have only just come back on the site. I will try and post a larger photo.

    By John Knight (13/05/2007)
  • My grandmother was born in the pub in 1920 and her parents ran it for 15 years. It is apparently haunted and there is a secret passage inside and underneath.

    By Steve (01/12/2008)
  • Well in the 70s, me and some mates of mine went in for a drink or 4. We had been using the Pub for a year or so, but this one night in October the Landlord found out that was I joining the Royal Marines in a week or two - so that night he had lock in. It turns out he was ex Royal Marines

    By Chris Nettley (18/11/2009)
  • No secret passages or tunnels I’m afraid, I know every nook and cranny in this building.

    By John Knight (29/04/2010)
  • My paternal great grandparents, Harry and Amelia Harfield, ran this pub for a while in the early 1900s. Often wondered what the place would have been like in their time there.

    By Sarah Harfield (07/08/2010)
  • John Knight…if you go to a wardrobe in the first floor there is a false back and stairs take you down into the cellar. Also there was a tunnel to the Pavilion, now since filled in. 

    By Steve (30/07/2011)
  • A great pub to sit outside and watch the world go by. Does anyone know the reason for the spelling of “waggon” with 2 gs? I haven’t seen this anywhere else.

    By Pat (09/08/2013)
  • Hi Pat, there is nothing incorrect about ‘waggon’, which was the old British spelling of the word. I suspect that the dropped ‘g’ became more commonplace from the americanisation of the word, but both versions are correct in the dictionary. Regards, Andy.

    By Andy Grant (09/08/2013)
  • Brighton Gazette – Thursday 21 November 1867
    JOHN HARMAN, 20, WILLIAM HARMAN, 18…very powerful sturdy young men, were charged with committing a violent assault on George Wilkins, and robbing him of a sum of money.
    The prosecutor deposed as follows:
    Last night I was at the Waggon and Horses, in Church Street…the landlord came and told me it was time to shut up. I went out of doors, and the moment I got outside someone knocked me down…when I got up four men took hold of me, one by the arm and another by the leg, ready to tear me limb from joint, and I thought they were going to murder me, and I believe they would have done so if a policeman had not come…They stamped upon me, tore my clothes, cut my trousers pocket off containing my money, which was in a bag There were four sovereigns, four half sovereigns, and some silver.
    Constable Terry apprehended the prisoners at 53 Bread Street, about half-past six in the morning. They were in bed and denied being in Jubilee Street at all.
    Several witnesses had corroborated the above account and both prisoners, who denied that they had touched the prosecutor, were committed for trial at the next Borough Sessions.

    By Lawrence Flowers (14/02/2024)

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