Development of the old drove road

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.

(85)The Ladies Mile Road is an old drove road from Patcham to Stanmer Park which became popular with horsewomen in the late nineteenth century, part of a pleasant circular ride from Preston Park via London Road, the Ladies Mile, Ditchling Road and Surrenden Road. Developed mainly with bungalow housing in the 1930s, the Ladies Mile ridge extends eastwards to Old Boat Corner where forty acres of open downland have been preserved by the corporation as an open space, although some of this will disappear beneath the Brighton bypass. {107,126,127a}

Near the western end of Ladies Mile Road, Mile End Cottages are an attractive Victorian terrace in a light brick. Nearby Place Farm House at the corner of Highview Avenue North is modern, but Drove Cottages, 36-44 Ladies Mile Road, are heavily-restored flint cottages built in 1815 for the poor of the parish {48b}. PatchamMethodistChurch, designed by Peter Gibbs, was built in 1968 on the site of Drove Barn, a flint and timber building which was restored as a church in 1935; it was said to date from 1595 and to have used timbers from an Armada ship wrecked at Rottingdean. {107,108,124,311}

Ladies Mile Road continues eastwards past the White House Nursery School, once the home of George Ferguson who developed the Ladies Mile estate in the valley below, Eastwick Bottom. This area belonged to Place Farm and was once deserted apart from the early-nineteenth-century Eastwick Barn, although the name dates from at least the thirteenth century {108,289}. The flint barn still stands in Eastwick Close, but has been heavily restored and converted into a home, and with the addition of window bays is barely recognisable as a barn at all. The housing estate was developed in the 1930s; Patcham Clock Tower was erected as an advertising aid, while the nearby Ladies Mile Hotel, a superb example of a 1930s estate public house, opened in 1935. The Mackie Hall opened in 1937 in connection with All Saints’ Church, Patcham, and in about the same year George Ferguson presented the Mackie Avenue Recreation Ground, the Plainfields open space, and the two Vale Avenue open spaces to the corporation. Also in Vale Avenue is the Horsdean Recreation Ground, eighteen acres levelled in the 1930s and extended in the 1960s; part of this is also to be taken for construction of the bypass, however. {83,124,126,128}

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

  • My great grandparents William & Hephsibah Edwards lived here. In 1918 one of their sons, my Great uncle Aundry was killed in the First World War and this is the address listed on the Common War Graves Commission records. Aundry is listed on the War Memorial in Patcham. My Grandad survived the war and married and had a family and lived in Rottingdean. My Mother told me that one Sunday her and two of her sisters were told to go to see their grandparents in Patcham so, of course they did, walking from Rottingdean to Patcham. When they got to Mile End Cottages, they were welcomed in and asked did they want to see their Grandfather so they said yes, and were taken upstairs where to their shock he was laid out in a coffin. No one knew that he had died, no telephones in those days for ordinary working class. My mum was about 8 I think and her sisters older by not many years.

    By Marilyn Rendle (14/12/2009)
  • I remember these cottages well before restoration, they were just empty shells for many years. Nice that they survived albeit heavily altered. Barretts the Newsagents used to be across the road and I think a hardware shop which became an estate agents. Jenkins farm was just over the hill opposite Salmons and TC Starns hardware store.

    By Alan Spicer (08/07/2011)
  • No 2 Mile End Cottages was the first house we bought. Lived there from 1996 until 2002. Very solidly built. Ideal for a couple or for a small family (one child). With regret we had to find a bigger place when we had a second child on the way. Our garden was shorter than the other 5 cottages as part of it belonged to No 3. I’d be very interested if anyone knows why!

    By Andrew Saunders (05/08/2011)
  • This isn’t the park off Mackie Avenue as stated, but the one running parallel to Vale Avenue. Nice play area for the kids. Very small, but I used to love to take my kids there when they were toddlers.

    By Andrew Saunders (05/08/2011)
  • My friend Natalie Pyke lived at 36 Ladies Mile Road back in 1997 when I went to visit her. If anyone can inform me whether she is still living there, please let me know – thanks!

    By Runa Sood (14/12/2011)
  • I well remember Jenkins Farm opposite Salmons, now houses. Mick Jenkins was a school pal of my brother Mick and used to turn up at Denton Drive on riding a big Shire horse bareback, the horse was then tethered to one of the trees outside our house whilst its rider came for a visit. Later the Jenkins family relocated to a new farm near Bolney which we would visit from time to time, once to collect some manure for my Grandad’s plants.

    By Alan Spicer (25/01/2013)
  • My family lived at 5 Mile End cottages. I was born there in 1934 as were my brother and sister – two other sisters were born elsewhere. We had a wonderful childhood there, Dad worked on the railway and we knew all the neighbours and a lot of the villagers.


    By John Hilton (27/02/2017)

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