Welcome to Hanover!

Hanover Street
Photo by Tony Mould

Your editor for Hanover is Jack Latimer. 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. You can tell us about last century, last decade, last week, or what you see changing around you today. And if you’re interested in the area and could help with writing, photos, research or interviews that would be much appreciated.

I’ve lived here for fifteen years. I got interested in local history through working on the original My Brighton exhibit, but I’ve never focused on my own neighbourhood. So this is a voyage of discovery for me.

On this website, we use ward boundaries as a starting-point. That means Hanover includes Albion Hill and Carlton Hill, even though they have a distinct feel and history. Hanover ward even includes some streets on the other side of Elm Grove. There’s a great map that Hanovernet have produced that shows the overall area very clearly.

The area today
What’s in Hanover? Good pubs, famously. Plus narrow streets, cream and beige and pastel houses, less good pubs, a steep hill, problems with parking, and a sense of community. An estate agent will tell you it’s a desirable area. It has a reputation as a muesli belt, inhabited by social workers and teachers.

The Juicy Guide claims the neighbourhood owes its cosy identity to the size of the houses. They’re too small to divide into flats, so this is a hillside of owner-occupiers. Hanover used to attract first-time buyers before prices escalated. Young families stayed for a while, then reluctantly left when they needed a bigger place.

The heights of Hanover housing
In recent years, the number of corner-shops has dwindled. We’ve lost a general store run by the sociable Bob and Di; a delicatessen; a green-grocer; a shop that sold second-hand tools one morning a week. But we still have a pianola shop and a place that sells everything you need for playing bowls.

Schools have become housing. Dairy garages have become housing. The huge old Phoenix brewery suffered an arson attack and was replaced by housing. The pubs have less crimson-flowered wallpaper and more stripped wood; less old men in corners and more Greek salad.

The Victorian terraces don’t house a working-class community any more, but Hanover still has a community feel. There is an annual street festival and a beer festival. A newsletter comes through the door from the Community Association. We have our own bartering currency called Hans. The Green party candidate did well after doggedly cycling up and down that hill on his campaign bicycle, day after day.

A book called ‘Hilly Laine to Hanover’ from Brighton Books is the best gateway to Hanover’s past (nearly sold out, so hurry). With thanks to the authors, below are some Hanover highlights.

Notable places (existing)
Hanover Crescent
Percy and Wagner Alms Houses
Church of the Annunciation
Hanover Lofts (once Finsbury Road school)

Notable places (in the past)
Belgrave Street Congregational Chapel
Bentham Road Mission
Brighton Home for Penitent Females, Finsbury Road
Cobden Road Public Baths
Chate’s farm
Ebenezer Baptist Chapel, Richmond Street
Islingword Road Mission
Phoenix Brewery, Southover Street

Notable people
Thanks to Hanover Crescent for housing the following reasonably famous people…

Sir Rowland Hill introduced uniform penny postage and the Penny Black stamp. He lived in Hanover Terrace in 1840. He was also the chairman of the London and Brighton Railway Company.

Horace Smith, a writer and poet, also lived in Hanover Crescent. He occupied number 10, from 1826-1840. He held parties for the literati and knew Dickens and Thackeray. The next resident of the house was a physician, Samuel Hood, the father of the first Viscount British Admiral.

Places in this area

Albion Street
Belgrave Street Congregational Chapel
Brighton General Hospital
Carlton Hill
Carlton Row
Carlton Street
Chates Farm, Albion Hill (no longer exists)
Church of the Annunciation
Claremont Row (no longer exists)
Coleman Street
Elm Grove
Elm Grove Primary School
Finsbury Road
Geese Have Gone Over the Water pub, Southover Street
Grand Parade
Great Globe, Carlton Hill (no longer exists)
Greys pub, Southover Street
Greek Orthodox Church
Hanover Community Centre
Hanover Street
Hanover Terrace
Hanover Terrace School
Islingword Street
Lynton Street
Newark Place
Percy and Wagner Alms Houses
Phoenix Community Centre
Phoenix Community Estate
Richmond Street
Southover Street
St James Passage, Hanover Street
St Wilfrid’s, Brighton (no longer a church)
Sussex Street
Toronto Terrace
Windmill Street


Comments about this page

  • My father was born at 14 Hanover Crescent in June 1912.

    By Carol Stroud (20/04/2005)
  • Never having heard of Hanover (the Brighton one that is) I shall be going there on Thursday to meet my son for a drink. Will I survive? Will I find one of the good pubs or one of the not so good pubs? We shall see.

    By Richard Wright (16/11/2005)
  • I brought my Mum’s, Winnie’s, ashes down from Lincolnshire on what would have been her 97th birthday on the 2nd Dec 2005 as I had promised and took her on a tour of Brighton and finished up in Happy Valley Whitehawk. On the way I went to all her old homes in Hanover starting at her last home in Brighton: 24 Sussex Terrace, also where Dinapore St used to be, now under high flats, Apollo Terrace before it collapsed into Sussex Terrace on one New Year’s Eve just after WWII. Finally to where she was born in St Mary Magdeline St. I hope that she will be happy now she is home in the area she loved above all others and now at rest with all her brothers and sisters.

    By Patrick Collins (Catswhiskas) (31/12/2005)
  • Can you tell me which roads are on the Albion Hill council estate?

    By Helen Shipman (04/04/2006)
  • On the 18th June 2006 a man named David Burke organised an excellent community evening under the banner of Zocalo. People between Southover Street and Islingwood Street were asked on this Sunday evening to turn off their TVs and sit outside their houses enjoying the evening and meeting their neighbours. It was a great success and two more have been arranged: 30th July 2006 and 13th August 2006, the eve of Hanover Day.

    By Edward Lloyd (26/07/2006)
  • Hi Jack, I was wondering if you could tell me if there are any good delicatessens in the Hanover area? Thanks.

    By Jo (03/10/2006)
  • I lived in Southover Street in the late 1980s when I was a student. It’s on the corner of Hanover Street, and used to be a launderette?? We were told that the house was haunted and that a man had been killed in the front room by a steam roller that crashed into the front of the house after rolling down Southover Street. We found that the house was indeed spooky and sometimes could hear footsteps upstairs when no one was up there. We scared ourselves a lot. A year later I was renting a room from a man who lived in St Pauls Street. He was 20 years older than me. One night all housemates and owner were talking about ghost stories and he told me that he had lived in a haunted house on Southover street when he was a child. It was the same house!. Very spooky. He told me that he had done a Ouija board as an adult and that he found out that the ghost was called Mary and she had been a prostitute who was murdered on Hanover Street. He also told me that as a child he had had the same bedroom as me, and he had been the only one who had actually seen the ghost. He claimed that her favourite colour was brown and the house had always been decorated in brown. In 1987 it was still brown. I have passed it since and it has been all done up and gentrified. It doesn’t look brown in there anymore. I wonder if it really was haunted and if Mary ever existed.

    By Moyra Scott (08/02/2007)
  • I see a mention of Lewis St where I lived as a young boy in the late Fifties and early Sixties at number 31. I remember walking to school through the blocks of flats that were being built in what is now Grove Hill. I can still smell the hops from the old Brewery.

    By Manley Bennett (25/03/2007)
  • Sorry to see Phoenix Arts Association is not included in the list of places to visit. Free public contemporary art gallery, creative courses and artists studios. For more info visit http://www.phoenixarts.org.

    By Belinda Greenhalgh (03/08/2007)
  • Where can I find a book called ‘Hanover’?

    By andy keenan (28/02/2008)
  • I would like to speak to anyone who has experienced any negative problems due to students overcrowding local communities, eg. parking/noise/littering. I am writing an article on this issue in Brighton-Hanover area.

    By Kirsty McGilway (20/05/2009)
  • Hi Jack – is Park Street within your area – I went to Queens Park CSM from 1959 to 1961.

    By Albert Bullock (15/06/2009)
  • By Phil (13/09/2014)

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