Buckingham Road constructed c1850s

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.

West Hill is the name given to the eastern part of Church Hill rising westwards from Brighton Station, Queen’s Road and the central valley. It was developed in the 1840s and ’50s with ‘working-class’ and ‘middle-class’ terraced housing near the station, and in the 1870s with large villa residences in the grounds of the former workhouse {83}. Designated a conservation area in 1977, the streets of main interest are detailed below, but see also “Dyke Road” and “Queen’s Road“; also “Railways – Brighton Station“, which was added to the conservation area in 1988

c) BUCKINGHAM ROAD: This road is lined with large villas at the southern end, erected in the 1870s in the former workhouse grounds, and some impressive terraced housing of the 1850s to the north, particularly nos.45-58 with their large square bays. No.31 was the birthplace of one of Brighton’s most famous sons, Aubrey Beardsley, on 21 August 1872. A famous black-and-white illustrative artist, ‘the master of line’, he was educated at the nearby grammar school (corner of Upper Gloucester Road) where he illustrated a booklet for a school opera, but he later lived at 21 Lower Rock Gardens. He left Brighton at the age of fifteen to work as a clerk in a London office, but his self-taught skill as an line artist won him a major commission to illustrate an issue of Malory’s Morte d’Arthur. Other important commissions followed, including Wilde’s Salome and Pope’s Rape of the Lock. Beardsley gained something of a notorious reputation with his grotesque and erotic art nouveau imagery, but he died of tuberculosis at Mentone, France, on 16 March 1898 aged just twenty-five. {3,296}

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.

Comments about this page

  • Does anyone have any knowledge of a maternity home that was situated around the Buckingham Place area? If so, I would be delighted to hear from them. Thanks in advance.

    By Derek Taylor (04/06/2008)
  • The Sussex Maternity home was the building on the corner of Upper Gloucester Road. There should be other references to it and its former use as a school on this My Brighton website. As kids in the 1940s we used to pass by and look down to the basement to see many mothers and newly born babies all lying in their beds.

    By Roy Grant (05/06/2008)
  • I was born in the Maternity Hospital on Buckingham Road in1945 and in 1967 I had my first son there, both my mother and myself were attended by the same doctor Banyon (I think I’ve got her name right). I had to go into a small room on my own with my baby as I suffered from a chest complaint, it was situated somewhere on the front of the hospital and I used to see the Rabbi pass by my window going to circumcise the baby boys!

    By Sandie Waller (07/06/2008)
  • I was born at the Sussex Maternity Hospital Buckingham Road in 1957. My brother was also born there in 1955. Our mother (Mary Doogan) was a midwife there until 1967. She used to take us to see the Christmas babies on Christmas Day! She also told us that the place was haunted! Especially in the mortuary!

    By Maggie Williams (30/12/2008)
  • I was born at The Buckingham Road Maternity Hospital/Home  40 years ago today – 29th Jan 1969. I went passed this afternoon, it is now quite an ugly grey breeze block type building. Has anyone got any old pictures?

    By Tim Hodges (29/01/2009)
  • I was also born in the Sussex Maternity Home, in July 1944, in Latilla ward. My dad came home from the war to see me. Then he went off dancing with my mum’s cousin to celebrate. Great to read the comments above, especially about the babies in the basement. I, too, would love an old picture.

    By Sue Richardson (11/03/2009)
  • To Sue and Tim. I have a photo of the hospital when it was a grammar school in 1911. If you want me to send you a copy, email me at:  bluey.atkins@bluebottle.com.

    By Harry Atkins (28/05/2009)
  • I have a photo of Sussex Maternity hospital which I think was dated in March 1948 when my sister was born. It depicts my Grandmother amongst a group of people (presumably proud grannies and grandpas).

    By Ronnie Munday (13/07/2010)
  • Local author Harry Gaston has written a book about maternity services in Sussex, with pictures and the history of the Sussex Mat (including some of the more colourful characters who worked there!) There are more details about “Brighton Born, Sussex Bred” elsewhere on the website but it’s well worth a read.

    By Suzy Horne (04/11/2011)
  • I was born at The Buckingham Road Maternity Hospital/Home on Wednesday 5th March 1969. Does anyone know what has happened to this building?

    By Scott Taylor (01/05/2013)
  • I was born at the Buckingham Road Maternity hospital 1949. I lived in a flat at 2 Buckingham Road in the early 60s. Did a paper round from the newsagents in Surrey Street, the round went up Clifton Hill, Clifton Street, Buckingham Place, Terminus Road and all the little cul de sacs, including the lane/twitten at the back of them. Morning papers 7 days a week and Argus at tea-time 6 days for £1 a week. I can’t remember the newsagent’s name, but he spent a lot of time in the Railway Bell!

    By Ken Bishop (21/06/2013)
  • I have no idea why I chose today to ask my mum where I was born (as in which hospital) but I did. Turns out that I and my brother and sister, were born at Buckingham Road, Nov 60, Dec 66 and July 68. Just goes to show that it’s never too late to ask questions or to learn!

    By Vaughan Taylor (17/07/2013)
  • I was born at Buckinham Road Maternity Hospital on 11 July 1955. What l need to know is my time of birth, so can anyone please tell me when they closed down where did my records go? Thank you.

    By Ms Sally-Ann Hayes (06/01/2016)
  • I was born at the Maternity Hospital in July 1944 – the same month as Sue Richardson who added her comment in 2009.  My mother came from Cornwall to visit her sister in Hove.  Whether I was born in the same ward I not know or in the same weeks in July.  My birth certificate states Sussex Maternity Hospital UD – what UD means Ido not know.

    By Christopher Wallis (04/06/2017)
  • My twin and I were born at the Sussex Maternity Hospital almost 61 years ago. The doctor in charge was Dr Constance Benyon.
    As a midwife myself of many years I have heard stories of that formidable consultant and have read several of her published papers on birth from around that time.

    By Belinda Lumsden (08/06/2017)
  • Was Dr. Constance Beynon (spelling?) any relation to my childhood doctor, Dr. Beynon, who practised with Dr. Kaye in Chesham Road at the junction with Eaton Place. He lived in Roedean and always wore a bow tie.

    By Mick Peirson (09/06/2017)
  • I also remember Dr Benyon and Dr Kay from the Eaton Road surgery. Dr Benyon once made me wait until the very last person had left before he would see me as I had arrived 2 minutes late! Dr Kay was my mother’s favourite. He would always tell her, on his many home visits, how she kept a lovely home despite the terribly poor conditions.

    By Jan (10/06/2017)
  • Constance Beynon was John Beynons wife. If it hadn’t been  for her  I wouldn’t be here today, but she was a very formidable lady. My mother was scared of her, and when I saw her as a teenager, I was too. John Beynon was our family doctor. I had forgotten he wore bow ties, but I can picture him now. Stanley Kaye was lovely. There was a Dr Gough too.

    By Catherine Hemmings (29/10/2017)
  • My mother used to say I was born there under a trolley in January 1944, during an air raid. However, I cannot find any evidence of air raids at that time. Were there any bombings, anti-radar foil drops or air raid warnings at that time?

    By Stephen Brichieri-Colombi (29/06/2020)

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