Portland Place to Chichester Place

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.

t) PORTLAND PLACE: Built on land owned by Major Villeroy Russell in 1824-8, Portland Place was the first development between Royal Crescent and KempTown, and allowed a broad vista from the Major’s Portland House at the top. Unfortunately this classical mansion was burnt down on 12 September 1825, before it was even completed, but three houses were built on the site in 1847 known as West House, Portland House and Portland Lodge, nos.12-14 Portland Place although they stood on the northern side of St George’s Road. All three were later merged into one, West House, which was acquired at the end of the First World War by the St Dunstan’s Institute (q.v.) and later renamed Pearson House. A listed building, it was rebuilt in 1971 with the facade preserved.
The two elegant terraces of Portland Place are symmetric compositions by Charles Busby, his last work in Brighton. All the houses are listed and every third one has Corinthian pilasters; some remain unstuccoed in yellow brick, and all have balconies. {44,46,123}

u) PASTON PLACE: No.1 Paston Place was the home of the novelist William Black (1841-98) from 1879 until his death. At the corner with St George’s Road stands the Bombay Bar, a low, square, listed building with oriental details and a pagoda roof. It was built in 1892 as a mausoleum for Sir Albert Sassoon, who lived at 1 Eastern Terrace and was buried in this building in 1896, to be followed by his son Sir Edward in 1912. Their remains were removed to London by the grandson, Sir Philip, when he sold it in 1933. During the war the building was used as an air-raid shelter, and it became part of the adjacent Hanbury Arms public house in 1953. {3,44,45}
At the corner of Sudeley Street is a two-storey building with Doric pilasters and large pediment. It was erected in 1864 by Frederick Mahomed, the second son of Sake Dene Mahomed, as the Royal Gymnasium and fencing rooms, these having been removed from what is now the Waggon and Horses public house in Church Street. Now used as an office, it became St George’s Church Hall in 1889, but the gymnastic fittings remained in situ until 1962. {268}

v) BELGRAVE PLACE: The first development on the land conveyed by Thomas Read Kemp to Thomas Cubitt, who was connected with Belgrave Square in London, in lieu of payment for work on the Kemp Town estate. Belgrave Place has the date of construction, 1846, in the pediment above the centre-piece, no.9. All the houses are listed and have either three or four storeys with iron balconies. {44,46}

w) EATON PLACE: Started in about 1846 by Thomas Cubitt on his own land, and completed by about 1855. The lower part is lined with impressive, four-storey houses with wide bows and iron balconies, all listed buildings. {44,46}

x) CHESHAM PLACE: A wide road of four-storey houses with ironwork balconies, initially called Lyall Street. Nos.1-6 are late-Regency-style listed houses of the 1850s with wide bow fronts. {44,46,83}

y) CHICHESTER PLACE: Nos.23, 25, 27 and 29 are listed buildings, built in late-Regency style by Thomas Cubitt in the late 1840s; nos.23 and 25 have wide bow fronts. Three adjacent houses were destroyed by a bomb in the war and have been replaced by the flats of Chichester Close. St Mary’s Square is a development of 1989 in a Regency pastiche, built on a playing field of St Mary’s Hall. Another new development along the south-eastern side of the road is known as Cubitt Terrace after the well-known builder of many houses in the KempTown area. {44,46,242,243,244}

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.

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