Welcome to Bear Road
Lying to the north east of central Brighton, Bear Road was the parish boundary between Brighton and Preston. This is one of the reasons why the road runs through a chain of cemeteries, because since the Bronze Age these have been classically located on tribal/parish edges.
The area developed for housing in the early years of the 20th century. Indeed one nearby housing block is termed the Boer War estate, with streets named after either generals (Redvers, Buller) or battles (Ladysmith, Mafeking).
The western-lower-end of the Bear Road abuts the industrial area of Lewes Road, an important economic area of the town in the early 20th century. It was the site for Reasons electric works (later the more famous Allen West), a diamond cutting works, and more mundanely a custard powder factory and a dental supplies works. Nearby,the water pumping station, Cox’s Pill factory, the abbatoir and the railway coal yards all gave abundant (if rather noxious!) employment.
The area today
This is an area of red-brick terraces. First-home buyers step onto the housing ladder here, where housing costs and room rentals are low. It is thus classic student bedsit land.
The continuing growth of the Lewes Road valley as a ‘science corridor’ linking the two univerity campuses with the ‘Silicon Beach’ of central Brighton may have some effect on the society and housing of Bear Road, though whether this will develop in the North Laine ‘Bohemian Quarter’ style is open to question.