History notes and photo gallery

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.

The western part of Church Hill was developed from the 1820s to the 1860s. As it was considered to be the most salubrious part of the town, particularly the Montpelier area, much of the housing was of a high-class nature with many fine examples of Regency and Victorian architecture. Known as Clifton Hill, the area is now an outstanding conservation area stretching northward from Western Road between Dyke Road and the borough boundary, and has about 4,500 residents {277}. Roads of particular interest in Clifton Hill are detailed below in alphabetical order (although those leading northward from Western Road are dealt with under “Western Road“). See also “Dyke Road” and “Western Road“.

a) BELVEDERE TERRACE: A listed terrace with bow fronts and balconies, built in about 1852 for Mary Wagner, sister of Revd Henry Wagner, on her land at the rear of Belvedere House. Norfolk Terrace opposite also has six bays of four-storey bows. {44,65}

b) CLIFTON HILL: Has several listed buildings. Nos.1-3 are semi-detached Italianate villas of about 1850; no.7 with its verandah dates from about 1840; nos.10-11 also date from around 1840 and have ironwork balconies and verandahs; and nos.24-25 have bows and glazing bars. {44}

The car-park between Clifton Hill and Powis Grove was the site of Vine’s Mill from around 1810 until about 1850 (see “Vine Place” below). The adjacent flint building, richly decorated with lion heads, classical busts and other figurines, may have been connected with this mill, but it is generally believed to have been erected in the early nineteenth century as a coach house; it was restored in 1989. {108,249a,249b}

c) CLIFTON ROAD: Lining the eastern side near Clifton Hill are some three-storey houses dating from about 1830, nos.1-4 and 7-8, listed buildings with good doorways, bows, balconies and verandahs. Nos.9-10 are also listed, together with no.26 on the opposite side which has Ionic pilasters and was probably designed by Wilds and Busby in the 1820s. {44}

d) CLIFTON TERRACE: A very attractive composition completed in 1847. The whole terrace, which has the three-storey nos.12-15 as a centre-piece, is listed along with the detached no.25 and nos.27-31 which form the terminal view from the east; no.17 was the home of playwright Alan Melville until 1973. The Clifton Gardens in front of the terrace remain for the exclusive use of the residents, but were once the site of the Clifton Windmill. Probably erected in the 1810s or ’20s, this mill was moved in around 1837 to Windmill Street where it was still known as the Clifton Mill (see “Albion Hill“). It is thought that the nearby Windmill public house was named from Vine’s Mill, however (see “Vine Place” below). {44,83a,249a,249b}

e) DENMARK TERRACE: An 1860s terrace of four-storey houses with wide angular bays, ironwork balconies and interesting doorways. {83}
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 know what could be done to stop these beautiful listed buildings sliding into further disrepair? Are there not grants for such things?

    By Sarah (17/03/2009)
  • I believe this was the site of ‘The Haven’ hotel in 1890s-1920s. It’s address was listed as 3 Clifton Road, (two houses from bottom)

    By Kym (21/02/2012)

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