Notes & Queries: Old Boat Corner

Query sent to My Brighton and Hove website, 11/7/2001:
“Do you have any historical information on Old Boat Corner in Brighton? I am writing a screenplay based on this site and would appreciate any further information I can acquire. Thanks! Sam Taylor”

Response 1 – Old Boat Corner
From Jan Hill, My Brighton and Hove volunteer, 13/7/2001
“Old Boat Corner is at the junction between Ditchling Road and Coldean Lane (South West corner of the Stanmer estate). The name originates from an upturned boat there which was used as a shepherd’s hut. (Info from Encyclopedia of Brighton by Tim Carder)”

Response 2 – Old Boat Corner
From Geoffrey Mead, My Brighton and Hove volunteer and local historian, 16/7/2001
“Old Boat Corner is the area at the north end of Ditchling Road where it meets Coldean Lane and is in essence the NW corner of Stanmer Park. Before the realignment of the road junction with the building of the by-pass it was almost a crossroads, and there was reputedly a toll keeper’s cottage or bothy made out of an up-ended boat.

“Similar structures can be seen outside the Brighton Fishing Museum, although on a much smaller scale. Because of their weather proof qualities, old boat hulls were much in use for dwellings (see David Copperfield), or as storage for nets etc…”

Comments about this page

  • The area has a lot of history. There’s Rocky Clump, which is the site of a Roman shrine, and a dew pond with a direct line of sight to Mount Caburn and Firle Beacon. From Rocky Clump, a view of Hollingbury and Whitehawk is possible, making them appear close together. The old boat may well be a sarsen that lies in a field next to the Ditchling Road and resembles an upturned boat.

    By Olly (14/04/2004)
  • The name is a corruption of ‘old boke corner’. Nothing whatever to do with boats, but refers to the 8th century charter deliniating the boundaries of the estate. ‘Boke’ is a Saxon word for book or charter.

    By Les (09/01/2006)
  • I lived in Coldean from 1958 to 1968. The local folk tale about Old Boat Corner was that a shepard who farmed in the area had died at the top of Coldean Lane. His dog had stayed at his side until he was found. The dog returned to the spot every day so local people placed an old rowing boat on its end as a shelter for the dog. When the dog passed away the boat remained for many years untill it rotted away .

    By David Jones (13/11/2010)
  • When we first moved out to Hollingbury in 1946, a guy used to keep pigs in ramshackle stys on the Carden Avenue side of Old Boat Corner.

    By Roy Grant (23/12/2010)
  • When Coldean School was built, a competition to design its School badge was held and my uncle
    Charles Yeates a Silver Smith who then lived up in the Roundway won the competition it looked like a sailing ship .
    He was a much loved character in Coldean and Stanmer where he lived and helped to start Stanmer preservation Society.

    By Geoff White (12/11/2020)

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