Introduction to the area
Your editor for Patcham is Bill Maskell. If you’ve got any queries about this area, or can add any information, photos or memories, please send My Brighton and Hove a message via the Comments form at the bottom of this page.
My interest in local and family history started when I was about sixteen years old.
Born but not bred in Brighton
Although I was born in Brighton my early years were spent in the north of England. Returning to Brighton in the late 1940’s I soon discovered that a regional history knowledge dominated by coal mining, ship building, deep-sea trawler fishing and steel works was a bit out of place. Sheep still populated the Downs in the thousands, arable fields produced an abundance of variable crops and heavy industrial sites were few and far between. In essence I was a stranger in the locality of not only my birth but also the proven birthplace of five generations of my father’s family.
Since then and over the intervening years I have been keenly interested in the local history of Brighton and its surrounding area.
The historic parish of Patcham comprised of the following manors: Patcham Court, Patcham Place, Withdean Court, Withdean Kayliffe and Moulsecoomb. In total it covered 32 square miles and included an area west of the Dyke Road now in Hove as well as the whole area northward from the boundary of the parish of Preston. On the north it abutted the parishes of Pyecombe and Ditchling. On the east it ran with the boundary of Falmer and Stanmer parishes and on the west of West Blatchington and Newtimber. Transferring this information on to a map would show that Withdean, Westdene, Tongdean and Hollingbury with areas of Moulsecoomb and Bevendean were all within the original parish.
The development of modern Patcham
The nucleus of modern Patcham is the village of yesteryear; centred around Church Hill and Old London Road, the now designated conservation area, contains many listed properties.
Prior to the Sir Herbert Carden’s inspired Brighton/Patcham incorporation in 1920’s, development south of the village was mainly piecemeal. With new building land available a series of suburban satellite estates were to quickly evolve.
In the 1930’s, to the east of the village, the Ladies Mile Estate was development by George Ferguson. Built to advertise the estate, the Patcham Clock Tower was erected at the junction of Mackie and Vale Avenues.
Close by is the Ladies Mile Hotel, opened in 1935; this is a fine example of a 1930’s estate public house. Ladies Mile Road was an old drove road from Patcham to Stanmer Park: developed over the years this road is the home to diverse vintage properties. South of the village, local builders, W. H .Lee and T.J. Braybon were responsible for most of the developments on the Brangwyn, Old Mill, Braybon and Carden Avenue estates.