An introduction to the area

Your editor for Brunswick is Damian Kerr. 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.

Brunswick today
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 history
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.

Comments about this page

  • Would love to see a more characteristic photo of Brunswick Square on the website, and Plameira Square too. Such beautiful open public spaces in the city, and the swoop down to the sea from Brunswick Square is spectacular ! Graham Greene has Pinky, his protagonist in Brighton Rock, living in rooms on Montpelier Road. Can’t remember the number but it has a green door.

    By Joyoti (23/11/2005)
  • My researches into the history of the Osborn family of Chicksands Priory, Bedfordshire, have revealed that the Osborn family were resident at properties in both Brunswick Square and Brunswick Place. I am hoping to find out the length of time the family retained these properties. So far the time span is from 1881-1925. If anyone can help I would be most grateful.

    By Roger W. Ward (02/08/2006)
  • I am searching for a booklet by Judy Middleton called “Brunswick Town”. The copyright is 2001. I’d be most grateful if anyone can let me know where I might get a copy.

    By Iona Wilson (08/11/2007)
  • It is to be hoped that neither the exceptional Regency and Victorian Squares, nor the Crescents and Terraces of Brunswick, nor their open spaces, are ‘desecrated’ by Communal Bins. [Nor those of Kemp Town.]

    By Tom Chavasse (02/02/2008)

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