Demolished in Churchill Square development

Grenville Place undated: click on image to open a large version in a new window

Mystery Photo interest

Area before redevelopment: click on the image to open a large version in a new window

A recent ‘Mystery Photo’ created quite a bit of interest here and was rightly identified by many of our well-informed visitors as Grenville Place, which was demolished in the development of Churchill Square.

Plans conceived in 1935

A new shopping and entertainment centre was first conceived in 1935 and dilapidated buildings in Blucher Place and Upper Russell Street were cleared in 1938. But WWII prevented further work and the vacant site was used for a car-park for many years. Further clearances at Artillery Street, Cannon Street and Russell Street followed in 1957/58. But it was not until 1963 after a public inquiry, that ministerial approval was given for a 15 acre redevelopment from Western Road to King’s Road. Grenville Place was demolished as part of that redevelopment.

Area after redevelopment:click on the image to open a large version in a new window

Early 19th century housing

The Churchill Square underground service road is known as Grenville Road, a reminder of the early 19th century cobble-fronted houses which stood on the site. Grenville Place was also the original location of the Sussex Throat and Ear Hospital, founded in 1879 at number seventeen; it moved in 1882 to 23 Queen’s Road.

The maps here, from Timothy Carder’s ‘Encyclopaedia of Brighton’(1990), show the area before and after the redevelopment.

Comments about this page

  • The above photograph, once it’s been through Photoshop, is of a surprisingly good quality. As to its date, I’ve no idea but all the buildings in it except possibly the tailor’s shop are empty as if awaiting the bulldozers.

    By Jester the Clown (04/04/2011)
  • Looking at the updated photo brought back some more memories. The first shop was at one time a secondhand bookshop / stationers, the tailors was run by J Hieman and was originally a dairy, Whitwells had been there for years, the shop next to them looking like the front of a house the local Homemade Cake Shop and on the corner out of sight was Bert Bassett the butcher. Hope this rings a few bells.

    By John Wignall (06/04/2011)
  • This was my father’s tailor shop. We lived above the shop. I remember we were part of a compulsory purchase order for that area to make way for Churchill Square. My parents refused to move out until they had received proper compensation from Brighton Corporation (as it was then). My father had had a heart attack the year before and we my parents felt the Corporation were taking away his livelihood. I remember, age 12 in December 1965, coming home from school and finding the houses next to us and along the street in the process of being knocked down. It was very traumatic, however we did receive enough compensation – after a lengthy legal battle – to buy another shop with living accommodation above in Hove. Very nostalgic to see this photo.

    By Linda Freedman (nee Heimann) (18/09/2012)
  • Hi Linda, you won’t know me, but I remember your Dad very clearly to this day. He was always very kind sounding and had cheerful word for the local kids.

    By John Wignall (29/09/2012)
  • I’m thinking of making a short film about the community that is now buried beneath Churchill Square. I’m interested in people’s everyday stories. If you’d like to contribute, please contact  Many thanks

    By Dan (21/12/2012)
  • Dan-There is a good Brighton Books Publishing volume on the Churchill Sq area that was produced by local residents and would make a good starting point for your research.-‘Churchill Square revisited, a lost Brighton community’by Andrew Walker[2002]

    By Geoffrey Mead (23/12/2012)
  • Thanks Geoffrey. I’ll take a look.

    By Dan (24/01/2013)

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