Magnificent architecture

Lewes Crescent

As we travel eastward on Brighton seafront we come to the beautiful symmetry and magnificent architecture of Sussex Square and Lewes Crescent. We can really only appreciate the grandeur of it by going out in a boat and looking at it from five miles away. It’s wonderful to see how it has been planned and built. It really is a shame that our modern planners didn’t look at these and try to reproduce them in other areas.

Comments about this page

  • Thank you very much for placing the information on the web. I’m researching the Cubitt family from the other side of the world in Australia and my husband’s ancestor had brothers – Thomas Cubitt, who was involved in building Kemp Town, and Lewis Cubitt, an architect who lived at 5 Lewes Crescent. It is really wonderful to be able to see pictures of places they built and lived in via the web pages submitted by local people.

    By Carmel McMullen (11/11/2004)
  • The photo brings back happy memories of 1955-58 when we lived at Number 3A Lewes Crescent. The gardens don’t seem to have changed much from when we played there. We had to get the key (each householder had one), or use a 5/- jack-knife to pick the lock…! The tunnel was closed up, and very scary, there was a small ‘room’ off to one side that we camped in, probably lucky not to get mugged!

    By Rob Umney (Melbourne, Australia) (29/01/2007)
  • I am Rob’s sister living in Devon, and yes the picture brings all the good memories back. I visited Lewes Crescent last week, (going down memory lane), and was thrilled to be able to go inside ‘our’ flat, after 50 years. The accommodation has now been reduced by 50%, and two flats made out of our large four bedroomed one. I also was able to go into the gardens, and down the spooky tunnel, not quite as smelly as it used to be. There are now two ‘units’ built into the end of the tunnel. In the 50s the area was full of theatrical people, Anna Neagle lived opposite, and there were many parties and in nearby ‘Vals’ Tavern’, a club in one of the basements. Trays of drinks were carried into the gardens in the summer, everybody knew everybody, happy days.

    By Sue Bennett (28/05/2008)
  • Hallo Sue and Rob: Remember me? We lived at 38 Sussex Square and then at Bristol Garage in Church Place and grandfather had No 41 Sussex Square. Didn’t your father have a Citroen 12 or 15? I recently saw a c1955 photo of the west side of Lewes Crescent and the only car was outside your house! I recently saw Anne Latham whose mother Naomi married my uncle Norman Goddin so she and Paul are pseudo-relatives. (They lived a bit further up Sussex Square from you then.) I’ve recently also been in touch with Mike Johnson who lived at The Leas. (His father had the Clarence Garage.) He came up to my father’s funeral and so did Johnny Hardy. My mother used to keep in touch with quite a few of the old Sussex Square people after we moved to Kent, the Walkers and the Candlins, ‘Sedgie’ Sedgebeer, Clare Burchell (No11) etc, but now we only see any of them at funerals! What happened to the Willis boys? Their mother was Hilda, lived almost next door to you. Can you remember exactly where that club you mention was? My father’s business partner’s mother-in-law used to run a club in one of those basements but I thought that was in Percival Terrace area. I did put something on this page some time ago but it didn’t seem to get through. If you read this put a note on the message board. Regards.

    By Tim Sargeant (18/02/2010)
  • I played with pals in the gardens from mid ’50s: ie Lance and Robin Beste, Keith Rossiti, Neal Power, Linda South, Anthea Hall, Rosalind Darcy, Pete the biker, etc. Many famous people lived here and in Sussex Square: Bill Owen, Mike Richie, etc. We climbed the trees, and made camps in the bamboos, as well as making a sort of javelin from bamboo – great fun.

    By Don Grant (27/06/2012)
  • Further to my previous entry of 18th Feb 2010: I remember some of the names you mention Don. You should read “The Tree Climbers, A Childhood in Wartime Brighton”, by David J Knowles who lived at No 13 Sussex Square. It is based on the exploits of a group of children who lived in Sussex Square and Lewes Crescent at the outbreak of the War and tells of their adventures climbing the trees in the gardens much as we all did a few years later. You may well recognise some of the names he mentions, many were certainly still about in my day. Somewhere I have a photo of one of the big pine trees which fell onto an Austin 10 at the top of the Square in 1956 which I think is the one referred to in the book. When I come across it I’ll send it in. He mentions the occupation by the Canadian Army in one chapter who took over several houses in the Square and Lewes Crescent. Apparently, when I escaped from No 38 one day, I was found sitting underneath one of their tanks! Another famous Lewes Crescent name was Bill Rose, an American film scriptwriter who wrote the script for one of the most famous Brighton films of all time, ‘Genevieve’, about the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run. Although most of it was filmed in Hertfordshire! He had an Austin Healey 100/6 and could say ‘fill-her-up’ all in one word, well petrol was about 4/6 a gallon in those days. He bought my Karn American Organ when we moved to Kent for the huge sum then of £25!

    By Tim Sargeant (29/06/2012)

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