Regency Square conservation area

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.

k) PRESTON STREET: Nicknamed the ‘street of a thousand restaurants’, there were in fact only thirty-five dining establishments in Preston Street in 1990! The phenomenon is recent as there were only two restaurants in 1956, eight in 1966, and thirteen in 1974 . The street was probably named from Preston Manor, the former home of the Western family after whom Western Road is named, and retains some interesting listed buildings. No.5 has a mid-nineteenth-century shop-front of fluted Corinthian pillars, while nos.58 and 60 on the eastern side date from the early nineteenth century and have bow windows; no.58 also has Ionic pilasters. The nearby Royal Sovereign Inn has a pair of bows and dates from the 1820s, while lower down the street stands Regency Cottage, no.79, a small, bowed house with a stone balustrade roof, which was probably designed in the 1820s by Wilds and Busby.  Nos.16-18, with narrow bows and verandahs, are included on the council’s local list as are nos.40-44 which are decorated with fluted pilasters and ammonite capitals, a speciality of A.H.Wilds; they have been spoiled by the addition of window bays, however.

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

  • Back in the 1960s Preston Street was a great place to be on a Saturday morning. From my point of view, John Taylor’s Toy Shop was about as good as it got. This was one of the greatest old fashioned toy shops ever. It had model kits etc upstairs and a narrow and beautifully painted staircase leading downstairs to the basement. There were also many good restaurants down Preston Street, including the Aberdeen Angus. This boasted a weird assortment of cultures: Scottish themes and Spanish waiters, huge steaks and Turkish coffee. Only in Brighton eh? There was also a fascinating gun shop and some of the most up-to-the-minute hair dressers.

    By Alan Knight (16/08/2006)
  • I remember going to a Greek restaurant on a Saturday night after the pubs had closed and having a steak with all the trimmings.  I believe that at some time there was a disco downstairs, unless that was in another restaurant in Preston St – we used to meet all our mates there. We also used to go to a coffee bar (possibly Turkish or Greek) that also had a downstairs room where we would all meet up and spend all afternoon there.  The owner must have had some patience as we probably didn’t spend much. Does anyone remember the name?

    By Sandie Waller (13/12/2007)
  • Does anyone remember Pat’s coffee bar down the bottom on the left about 1958? A shaven bald headed man and his wife Pat ran it.

    By terry hyde (11/05/2009)
  • The coffee bar run by Scottie on the corner of Preston st and Kings Rd in 1963 had a room down stairs and Tommy Roe’s Sheila on the juke box.

    By Brad (09/11/2012)
  • I think that the coffee bar on the corner of Preston Street and Kings Road was called the Chandelier.

    By Derek Lake (11/11/2012)

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