Famous residents

Sussex Square
Thomas Read Kemp lived at no. 22 from 1827-1837.

Lewis Carroll (Revd Charles Dodgson) spent summers at no. 11 between 1874 and 1887.

Vita Sackville West, poet, novelist (or her mother, Pepita?) bought Sussex Mansions (nos. 39/40) and commissioned Sir Edwin Lutyens to adapt the interior at a cost of £50,000.

Marquis of Bristol lived at Bristol Mansions, nos. 19/20.

The exiled King of France, Louis-Philippe, stayed here with his family for a fortnight in April 1849.

Antony Dale, author, historian and conservationist, lived at no. 46 between 1914 and 1962.

Lewes Crescent
The Sixth Duke of Devonshire (after whom Duke’s Mound is named) lived at no. 1 (now Fife House).

Duke and Duchess of Fife (King Edward VII’s eldest daughter, Princess Louise) lived at no. 1.

Thomas Cubitt, who built 37 houses in Kemptown, live at no. 13

Lord Elwyn Jones (Labour Lord Chancellor) and his wife, Polly Binder (artist and writer), lived at no. 17 from 1966-1989.

Herbert Wilcox (film producer) and Anna Neagle (actress) lived at no. 18 1953-1969.

Jack Buchanan (actor/manager impresario) lived at no. 19.

The Lawrence Sisters founded Roedean school at no. 25.

Arundel Terrace
Harrison Ainsworth (Victorian author) lived at no. 5 from 1853-1867.

Chichester Terrace
D L Murray (editor of the Times Literary Supplement during WWII, lived in Chichester House).

Other Notable Visitors
Sir Robert Peel and Gladstone both stayed for short periods in 1842 and 1844.

The Earl of Aberdeen, then Foreign Secretary, visited in 1845-6, stayed at 13 Chichester Terrace, the home of General Sir Frederick Ashworth.

Lord John Russell, Home Secretary, took 14 Sussex Square in 1838.

Edward VII stayed at Fife House in 1908 for a period of convalescence. The Kemptown Enclosures were set aside exclusively for him.

William IV and Queen Adelaide, and later Victoria and Albert, also enjoyed walking in the gardens on their visits to Brighton.

In 1969 the gardens were one of several Brighton locations used for filming ‘On a clear day you can see for ever’, starring Barbra Streisand.

Comments about this page

  • I notice in your list of famous people who lived in Kemptown that you have included Thomas Cubitt but not his brother Lewis who was the architect of some of the big railway stations in London and probably of a lot of the local area built by Thomas. As far as I know Lewis lived and died at No 5 Lewes Crescent. He was there according to 1881 census. I only know what I’ve found on the net as my husband is descended from their sister and I’m researching from the other side of the world in Australia. Congratulations and many thanks for a wonderful site.

    By Carmel McMullen (11/11/2004)
  • Sir Lawrence Olivier lived at Royal Crescent during the sixties (and the fifties too, I think). And Dora Bryan lived in Crescent Place (also about that time) before moving round the corner to the seafront. I lived opposite at number 7, and my dad, who was a painter and decorator, did some work on her house. Around 1963 a new house was built on the ‘posh’ side of Crescent Place, and Flora Robson came to live there, although I never actually saw her.

    By Sylvia Schwarz (13/05/2005)
  • I’ve just remembered another one! Max Miller lived in Burlington Street.

    By Sylvia Schwarz (13/05/2005)
  • My great-grandfather William Budd once owned Sussex Mansions around the mid nineteenth century.

    By Lynn Penter (04/02/2006)
  • My Great, Great Grandfather, Charles Thomas Stent was born at Royal Crescent in 1807 (according to a family bible). Charles Thomas invented “Stent’s Composition” in 1859 which was, and still is, a much improved material for taking dental impressions. Many in the medical profession believe, with good reason, that his name is the originator for the current use of the word “stent and stenting” associated with the device for insertion into blood vessels to support them.

    By Colin Stent (02/12/2006)
  • Cate Blanchett lived there!

    By Jem (02/01/2009)
  • All infomation that I have found while researching the family tree does point to the fact that Charles T Stent was born in Brighton: in the Royal Crescent along with his 7 other siblings.

    By Kerry Poat (23/01/2010)
  • Just as an aside; Jack Buchanan (above) owned the first 8 litre Bentley, GK672.

    By Tim Sargeant (22/06/2013)
  • I used to be a newspaper boy in 1950 to 1953 at the “Kiosk” in Eastern Road, my round was all of Sussex Square and Lewis Crescent. I once received a Christmas present of ten shillings from Anna Neagle in 1953, which was a lot of money to me then. We moved away from Sussex Square in 1954 and I started an electrical apprenticeship that year.
    Whenever I watch any black and white films on “Talking Pictures TV” with Anna Neagle in the film, I always say ‘thank you’ to her on the TV screen….True !
    (I live alone, as I am a widower).

    By Victor A Bath (18/12/2020)
  • My uncle Harry Waller bought no 10 Lewes Crescent in the early forties, he died 1948 at black rock but I have some great photos of him on the balcony, I think it was sold early fifties ,I went to see it how grand it must have been ,mostly flats now .

    By josephine johnson (12/03/2021)

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