Villas and lodges

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.

c) OTHER VILLAS: From the 1850s onwards, about seventeen large, detached residences were built between Preston and Withdean Farm on both sides of the road, again encouraged by the removal of the tollgate to the north of Tongdean Lane in May 1854. Since the 1930s most have been replaced by flats and smaller houses, and only three now remain, including the Edwardian Tower House mentioned above.
On the eastern side of the road, at the bottom of VarndeanGardens, stands Withdean Hall, a two-storey building of 1861 which was once used as a girls’ school but has now been remodelled as flats; there are two lodges at the rear. The other remaining villa, from the 1860s, is Grove Lodge, now St Bernadette’s Primary School, which has a lodge opposite Clermont Road; the school opened when the adjacent Lourdes Convent (founded 1903) was demolished in 1972 and replaced by the Kingsmere flats. The lodges of Springfield or Hartford Villa (at Cliveden Court), Hatch Beauchamp or Withdean House (at Withdean Court), Laine House (at Varndean Park), and Miramichi (now Cedars Lodge) also remain. The octagonal Round House was the lodge to Withdean Lodge, the coach house of which remains in Varndean Road. {109,254}

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

  • The first picture, Grove Lodge/St Bernadette’s School, used to be the junior school of Lourdes Convent, the main convent & senior school was opposite. I remember it well, the upstairs bay window room was my classroom when I started at  the school in 1966 having just moved to Brighton. I think our teacher was Mother Elizabeth, a lovely nun. Then the following year we moved into the upstairs extention part that you can see clearer if you click on the picture, and our teacher was Miss Tobin. On Friends Reunited, someone has put on the year photo of the junior school, I think it is 1968. Hope they find this site and put it on here.

    Editor’s note: Thank you for telling us about the Lourdes convent junior school. Maybe you would like to share some of your memories of your time there with us? Please contact me at .

    By Josie Campbell (06/07/2007)
  • Hi, I was a border at Lourdes Convent from April 1961 to December 1962. I have some pictures I took of the Chapel etc. and a postcard from the Assembly Hall. Interested? Regards Hannelore

    By Hannelore Namowitz (Williamson) (15/09/2010)
  • My father and his two brothers went to school at Withdean Hall at the beginning of WW2. At the time it was a small private school for boys. The brothers were sent from London to live with their aunt and uncle at Effingham Lodge.

    By C. Clarke (27/09/2010)
  • I would love to see Hannalore’s photos of Lourdes Convent.  How would I do that?  I was there from 1960 – 1964 then from 1967 – 1970.  My sister was there from 1959 – 1969.

    By Sue Baker (29/10/2015)
  • My grandfather Albert Collins was Head Gardener at Hatch Beaucham, London Road from 1928 to 1933. Does anyone have any old photos?

    By Gillian Collins (15/10/2019)

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