A major commercial thoroughfare constructed in 1845
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.
a) HISTORY: This major commercial thoroughfare was constructed in 1845 to improve access to Brighton Station from North Street and West Street; the London and Brighton Railway Company contributed £2,000 to the cost,’ and the improvement included the bridge over Trafalgar Street. At the southern end, several notorious slums off North Street, notably Durham and Petty France, were cleared; the new road was then laid out northwards over part of Air Street (see “Queen Square”), and between Windsor Terrace and the Hanover Chapel towards the railway station.
The road naturally became lined with hotels, public houses, shops and warehouses, and was widened in 1878, mainly at the expense of the railway company. The buildings of Queen’s Road were originally continuous from Upper Gloucester Road to the bridge over Trafalgar Street; Junction Road, the link to Terminus Road and Surrey Street, was formed in 1924 by the demolition of the Terminus Hotel and the Terminus Shades in Surrey Street, and was widened again in 1935 by the removal of another two houses to form the present bus-bays.
b) EASTERN SIDE: Queen’s Road was widened in 1878, mainly at the expense of the railway company, and a number of large warehouses and depositories were built to the north of Gloucester Road; the last remaining one, a very distinctive Gothic design known as the Temple’, was demolished in 1989-90. The Sergeant Yorke Casino opened in October 1971 in a building built in 1908 as a garage.
Most of the eastern side of Queen’s Road is now lined with nondescript office-blocks of the 1960s and later, but Sun Dial House at the corner of North Road is an elegant, red-brick block erected in 1896 for the Brighton and Sussex Mutual Provident Society. It has a large sundial and an inscription on the southern facade: `Our days on Earth are as a shadow and there is none abiding’. The Latin inscription translates to `As the hours pass so does life fade away’.
Queen’s Road was a centre for the medical profession in the latter nineteenth century, and was at one time the location of the Brighton and Hove Dispensary; the Brighton, Hove and Preston Provident Dispensary; the Brighton, Hove and Preston Dental Hospital; the Sussex Eye Hospital; and the Sussex Throat and Ear Hospital. The sites of the two dispensaries between Church Street and North Road are now occupied by large office buildings of the 1960s and ’70s. At the southern end of this block stood the large, square Oddfellows Hall, built by John Fabian and opened on 26 June 1854 for the Manchester Order. It continued as a meeting hall until required for the Second World War effort, and was later used by the Ministry of Labour before being demolished in August 1969. Its foundation stone has been placed in the south wall of 118 Queen’s Road, the office-block which replaced it. The Queen’s RoadRestGarden at this point is the former graveyard of the Hanover Chapel, now the Brighthelm Church and Community Centre (see “Church Street“).
The Boots store, one of their largest in the country, was erected in 1979 to the design of Derek Sharp. It stands on the site of the Regent Cinema.
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.