An introduction to the area
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Brunswick, on the border between Brighton and Hove, stretches along the seafront from Montpelier Road to Grand Avenue. It is famous for its mazes of Regency townhouses and mews found north and south of Western Road, but also boasts sprawling terracotta mansions to the west. It is home to some of Brighton and Hove’s most unique pubs – mostly tucked away from the main streets, and has a community spirit to rival any locally.
Brunswick began life in 1825 as a small regency development, standing a mile away from Brighton in the parish of Hove, to take advantage of the lower rates and taxes. Built on the Wick Estate, owned by the Rev. Thomas Scutt, a whopping £500,000 was needed before the project could begin.
Charles Augustin Busby, the area’s designer, was responsible for most of the regency areas in Brighton and Hove, but it is Brunswick that is widely regarded as his greatest achievement.
Although it started as just Brunswick Square and Brunswick Terrace, the project soon became a town in its own right, with its own town hall (in Brunswick Street West, now Riley’s snooker hall), chapel (St Andrew’s in Waterloo St, the first Italianate Church in England), market hall, and later, for a while, its own station (in Holland Road, constructed in 1845). By the time Queen Victoria came to the throne in 1837 Brunswick had become thought of as the western edge of Brighton.
The Regency Society
However, by the mid-20th century, much of the area had become run down, and Hove Council proposed that Brunswick be demolished. Luckily, the plan caused local outcry and led to the formation of the Regency Society, dedicated to the preservation of Brighton’s buildings, which effectively saved Brunswick’s architecture.