First housing development in Hove, 1820s

Detail of a house in Brunswick Square
Photo by Bob Allen

The sea and ammonites
By Bob Allen, Brighton enthusiast

The first housing development in Hove was Brunswick Square. Its Regency architecture, looking out to sea from around a central garden, typifies what makes Brighton and Hove different from any other coastal resort.

The ammonite decoration – a pun on designer Amon Wild’s name – appeals to my sense of humour. I am fascinated by the variation of internal design behind the matching facades. Once sad, the square is fashionable again and during Open Weekend comes alive with visitors. No sea-front square or building is grander.

Maybe not Amon Wild?
By James Wright
I feel that Bob Allen is a little mistaken about Amon Henry Wild’s association with Brunswick. The names of both C. A. Busby & Wilds were on the original plans for Brunswick. However, by the time Brunswick Terrace (the first buildings in Brunswick) was finished in 1826 the partnership had been dissolved (24th June, 1825). See: Bingham, Neil: C.A.Busby, The Regency Architect of Brighton and Hove.

Comments about this page

  • I am distantly related to George Cheesman, the builder of several of the churches of Brighton. It is in the records that George built some of the houses of Brunswick Square, and I am pretty sure now that the first house built was 19, Brunswick Terrace on the Eastern corner of the square, and George Cheesman was the builder. I have set up a page on my website which gives more information -

    By John Hoare (05/01/2005)
  • I have the original plans of Brunswick Square. It is dated 1825 and the architect’s name is C.A. Busby, office Waterloo Place Brighton.

    By Elaine (21/05/2005)
  • I am doing a project on comparing Brunswick Square to places in Bath and I was wondering if anyone who uses the site could send me any information. My address is

    By Frances Kirkbright (04/06/2005)
  • This is one of the most beautiful squares in Brighton & Hove, though the tiny little picture can’t show that. All lovely yellow buildings that catch the light at sunset and the heat of hazy summer days, lazing in the huge grassy square, playing ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ in the wonderful wild forest – which grows its very own fairy ring of crocuses in Spring. And the swishy swashy long grass where the grasshoppers hop in Summer . My partner and I used to sit in this square and wish that we could live near here- now we do !

    By Joyoti (23/11/2005)
  • Hi well I have just found this site by accident and I have lived in Brighton all my life – I am 24 and I have never heard of this place. I have never ever been there – could someone please let me know where abouts it is exactly. Thank you.

    By Chaska (15/04/2006)
  • I used to attend the Isis Language School in Brunswick Place and the view of Brunswick Square every morning was one of the things I liked most.

    By Arianna (07/06/2006)
  • I’m doing some coursework for school about Brunswick Square in Brighton. I am trying to find out a number of things, such as how typical Brunswick Square actually was of aristocratic developments, and why was Brunswick Square built? I have read a lot of different information from the internet and I am a bit confused as to who actually started and built it. So far I’ve heard mentions of the Wilds, the Busbys and also Prof. Patrick Hodgkinson. Can anyone help? Thanks.

    By Emily Haze (09/05/2007)
  • Greetings to you all, I fell in love with this special place many years ago. I travelled from afar to find a place to call my own, it has taken a while but with a tangible vision of one day owning and living in such a wonderful square. I am now in a beautiful house and am creating my dream home. I am eager to learn of the provenance of the square and have been researching many areas, but there is still one I am desperate to find and that is of any images of the construction of the square. I would be delighted if anyone can point me in the right directions.

    By Jen (08/07/2007)
  • Hi, I am a stamp collector. I have a cover addressed to Miss Rachel Henty, 40 Brunswick Square, dated Nov 30 1862. Would anyone have any knowledge of the Henty family if nearly 150 years ago, please? Thanks for any help that can be given.

    Editor’s note: If you post a query on our Message Board it will be picked up by one of our local historians.

    By Mel Read (08/01/2010)
  • I live in the square it’s lovely. Does anyone know where I could look at the original internal plans of the houses on the square? I would find that so interesting. Thanks

    By Jenny Smith (17/06/2010)
  • My granny and grandad lived in the square along with my two uncles. They had moved here from Ireland as my mum had previously. My granny was the caretaker and they lived in the basement. I have photos of us outside. My mum was the caretaker of number two Waterloo Street where we also lived in the basement. This would have been in the late 40s then we moved to Brighton in 1953.

    By Anne Ball was Newman (08/12/2010)
  • My gt gt gt grandfathers brother resided at Brunswick Square, he died here in 1862. Are there any photos of this period of time?

    By Joanne (16/03/2011)

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