Originally known as Cragg Lane

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.

h) DUKE STREET : Originally known as Cragg’s Lane, Duke Street was first developed in the late seventeenth or early eighteenth century, but only a few buildings are now recognisable as dating from before the middle of the nineteenth century. No.4, Browns Restaurant, was the fire station of the Brighton Volunteer Fire-Brigade from 1875 until 1921. Nos.12-13 retain their early-nineteenth-century facades of narrow bows, while the listed no.37a, in a courtyard opposite Middle Street , is an unusual weather-boarded house of around 1780 with a bow. The town’s theatre stood on the northern side of Duke Street to the west of Middle Street from 1790 until 1806 (see ” Theatres “), but the present buildings on the northern side were erected following a corporation widening scheme in 1867; nos.24-31 form a three-storey terrace with angular bays and lion head decorations. The widening also exposed the ugly southern facade of the HolyTrinityChurch, now the BrightonHeritageMuseum.
Duke Street was pedestrianised to the west of Middle Street in April 1983 (formally opened 10 May 1985), and now forms one of the most attractive shopping areas of the town.

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

  • I remember on a number of occasions having wonderful meals at a restaurant called the Raja Mahal in Duke Street. It was a wonderful treat to me as a small child. Does anyone remember it? Food was fantastic and I still adore curry.

    By Sophie Fox (Khawaja) (25/06/2008)
  • Yes, this restaurant belonged to my dad. I grew up in it, upstairs. I used to go to Middle Street Primary school at the back. My dad passed away in 1999, I am now trying to collect old photos of the place or Duke street in general, specially in the 1980s, do you have any?

    By Ali Akbar (24/09/2011)
  • How wonderful to hear from the owner’s son. I’m so sorry but sadly I have no photos, only memories. The food was amazing, staff lovely and I find that no restaurant selling curry has ever lived up to your Dad’s; it lives on my memory.

    By Sophia Khawaja (15/12/2013)

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