Murrell's Dairy

Photographs from the private collection of Ron McMillan

(Russell Street was demolished to make way for the Churchill Square complex.)

This photo is of the Murrell Dairy, located at 6 & 7 Russell Street during the 1800’s.

The business was there for most, if not all, of the 19th century, but was later demolished I understand. Possibly a cement plant was located there in the 1940’s? Any additional information about the site or the immediate neighbourhood during the 19th and early 20th centuries would be appeciated.

My 1928 directory lists 6 Russell Street as Mrs Harris, fruiterer, and 7 Russell Street as Edward W Morris (no trade mentioned).
(My Brighton and Hove volunteer)

Comments about this page

  • My great grandfather, George Croft, was a Hatter and in 1881 lived (and worked?) at 2 Russell St. They were in Croydon by 1891. If anyone has any info on this family, please let me know. Thanks.

    By Peter Gray (04/05/2004)
  • I am interested in the history of bakers named ‘Lower’ in Brighton in early 1800s. I know of at least 5. My GGGgrandfather, George Lower, was a baker at 16 Little Russell Street from 1818 until the 1850s. Any information on this area would be appreciated.

    By Vic Phillips (12/11/2004)
  • My great-grandpa, Henry Markwick, lived at 22 Russell Street; he was a fish hawker. My grandmother was also born at that address in 1883. When my grandmother was married she moved to 22 Claremont Row.

    By Richard Groves (29/04/2005)
  • I’m curious to know more about a neighbouring street called Grenville Place. Like Russell Street, it vanished to make way for Churchill Square in the 60s. However, my grandmother and great aunt had a house there in the 1950s and were glad to see the place go. Seems it was appallingly haunted! Doors would open and close, footsteps would be heard going up the stairs, and the cellar of the house gave off such a forbidding chill that nobody ever went down there. My father estimated that the house would have stood roughly on the site of W.H.Smiths outlet in the original Churchill Square. Does anyone have any memories of this street?

    By Alan Knight (14/08/2006)
  • We have many Markwick ancestors – fishermen & fish hawkers – who lived in Russell Street, Brighton.

    By Karen Markwick (29/08/2006)
  • Lived at no 44 from 1952-1965 when we were compulsorily purchased by the Council with little compensation. Can’t remember hauntings, but it was a chilly dark house.

    By L Freedman (17/11/2006)
  • My husband’s great grandfather’s uncle Richard Campbell lived at 41 Russell Street on the 1871 & 1881 census. Also two of his sons lived in the same street, Richard at number 46 on the 1871 census, and Joseph and number 44, both were fishermen.

    By Josie Campbell (09/03/2007)
  • My name is John Wignall and I was born at 29 Grenville Place in 1942 (shows my age!). Yes you are right it could be creepy when it got dark, especially as most of the shops in Western Road had back entrances  in Grenville Place and these were not too well maintained and the gardens were very overgrown. Needles to say good times were had in those days the like of which we will never see again. If any of you fellow Brightonions would like to contact me please feel free to email me. John.Wignall@Ntlworld.Com.

    By John Wignaall (03/05/2007)
  • This message is for Alan Knight: I believe that your grandmother’s house was on the corner of Grenville Place and Little Russell Street. I also believe that your grandmother was friends with my grandmother as we lived only about four doors down at 29 Grenville Place. Your late uncle was the big boy (as he seemed to be) that would give me a ride on the crossbar of his bike, I left a similar message to this in the spot on the Jewish religions, if you would like to get in touch with me please contact on my email address

    By John Wignall (26/06/2007)
  • My name is Brandon Murrell and I was wondering if I am related to the people who owned Murrell’s Diary or if I know the place. Was it located in Brighton Ont.?because I live about 10 minutes from there. Please contact me when you get answers.

    By Brandon Murrell (23/01/2008)
  • I was interested to see your posting. My 3xgreat grandfather, William Beattie Johnstone, lived at various addresses in Russell Street from 1848 until at least the 1871 Census, by 1881 he was in Southover St. For most of the time he was a Marine Store Dealer although in 1848 his occupation is given as Cork Cutter on his son George’s birth certificate, living at 11, Great Russell Street, Brighton. A Marine Store Dealer wasn’t a Ship’s Chandler but a kind of rag and bone or scrap dealer! By the 1851 Census – occupation given as Marine Store Dealer, 12, Great Russell Street. 1861 Census – occupation given as Dealer in Marine Stores, 10 & 11, Russell Street. 1871 Census – occupation given as General Dealer, 9, Great Russell Street.  By 1881 his eldest son David was a General Dealer at 20, Upper Russell St where he remained until his death in 1904. I too would be interested to hear more of this street and its occupants.

    By Sue Flanagan (22/03/2008)
  • I too am related to William Johnstone who seems to have arrived in Brighton from Scotland via Warwickshire. William and his wife Elizabeth (born in Cheltenham) seem to have been general traders and son David also later worked as a marine dealer. David remained locally although he married a girl from Southwark, Elizabeth Ellen, and, lived latterly in the Artisan Dwellings off Windsor Street. One of their children was a seaman (also living in Upper Russell St) while the other two were general labourers and coal merchants. It was one of these, Thomas Goldring Johnstone, who is my direct ancestor.  It’s fascinating that families seem to have at some stages been incredibly mobile, but then settle for generations within a mile or two. Many of William Johnstone’s descendents still live in Brighton.

    By Nigel Moss (08/09/2008)
  • In connextion with Sue Flanagan’s message – re her great, great, grandfather being a ‘cork cutter’. Was her family connected to the Cork Shop in Gardener Street Brighton not far from Russell Square? It closed down in about the 1980s. Some of my ancesters lived in Artillary Street, part of Russell Street. Has anyone connections?

    By Anita Barton (02/02/2009)
  • Hi, Does anyone have knowledge of who was at 2 Russell Street, Kings Road, Brighton at about the same time as that super picture of Mr Murrel’s Dairy at Nos 6 and 7? I would like it to be some sort of haberdashery, run by a Thomas Henry Evans (Laceman) and his wife Eliza nee Ekins. By 1851 they were at 86 Kings Road, with three or four shop assistants – but where were they before that?

    By Bob Adams (09/09/2010)
  • Hello everyone: I’ve been researching my great-uncle Harold (Harry) Pullinger killed around Ypres in June 1916. His parents (my maternal great-grandparents) James and Jane Pullinger (nee Lloyd) were listed on documentation relating to Harry’s death as living at 6 Upper Russell Street. James Pullinger’s death certificate listed him as being a milkman. I see from this website that 6 & 7 Upper Russell Street are shown as Murrell’s Dairy so were g-grandparents living “over the shop” as it were? I was always told they ran some sort of a bed-and-breakfast business – maybe this supplemented his milkman’s wage. Does any kind soul have information on the Pullinger family late 19th/early 20th century at this location or nearby? Anything appreciated, as I’ll be visiting great-uncle Harry’s grave in Belgium later in the year. Thanks in anticipation. Pat Bampton

    By Pat Bampton (18/03/2011)
  • Hi, I have just found a 1930s 3D photo of Upper Russell street, let me know if you would like a copy. Also if anyone has similar 3D images I would love to hear from you. Thanks, Dan 07708399918.

    By Dan Wendes (30/09/2011)
  • I’m thinking of producing a short film about life in the roads which now lie under Churchill Square. I would love to hear everyday life stories from people who lived there. If you’re interested in contributing, contact  Many thanks.

    By Dan (21/12/2012)
  • I have a few photos of my husband’s maiden aunt Florence Heaton outside her general store at number 9 Upper Russell Street Brighton. This was her shop in the 1920s or 1930s.

    By Linda Geeson (14/02/2013)
  • In response to Bob Adams’ comment in 2010 – I don’t have any further information to add except that I’m a direct descendant of Thomas Henry and Eliza and I was wondering if you have any information about their parents?

    By Tracey Evans (21/04/2013)
  • Further to Bob Adams’ comment – I’ve confirmed that Thomas Henry Evans and Eliza were running a “lace and embroidery warehouse” at 86 Kings Road from 1848. The information comes from the Folthorps street directory of 1848.

    By Tracey Evans (22/05/2013)
  • I’m trying to locate occupants of 9 Russell St, Brighton in the 1840/50’s. My gg grandfather Henry Spicer was in the Royal Navy then the Merchant Navy and his Merchant Navy Card says when unemployed resided at 9 Russell Street, Brighton. (Card Gave his DOB as 14 November 1822 in Brighton.) So far haven’t been able to identify ‘his’ Spicer family. His Father was Thomas Spicer, I believe. Jilly from South Australia.

    By Jilly Limb (12/07/2013)
  • Hi Jilly, around 1840 the premises were occupied by a Coal Merchant named William Huggett. By 1851 Samuel Barry had taken over and operated a Boot & Shoemaker’s Shop there. It is possible your g/g/grandfather was a lodger there, but records are unlikely to have survived to show this. There does not appear to be a matching record of a Brighton birth of that name with the parents mentioned in 1822, although there was a baptismal entry for a Henry with Joseph as the father in October 1822. Regards, Andy.

    By Andy Grant (13/07/2013)
  • Thank you Andy, I did wonder if he was lodging seeing he was away at sea on/off but hoping because there were Spicer Families in Russell St, it might have been family he was staying with. Henry’s Spicer family is proving most elusive. Father’s name Thomas came from Henry’s marriage cert. of 1856 “Father, Thomas Spicer, dead”. (Marriage was at St Pancras. ) I did wonder about Joseph, Henry’s 2nd son, my great grandfather was Joseph Spicer. I’ll keep searching. Thanks again. Jilly.

    By Jilly Limb (14/07/2013)
  • I have just discovered in the 1911 census that a William and Elizabeth Leppard were living at 13 Little Russell Street. William was a stableman for a local brewery. They are descendants on my mother’s side. I am pleased to have found this entry.

    By Jacquie Russell (09/01/2014)
  • I would love to get in contact with Pat Bampton whose post about the Pullinger family at 6 Upper Russell street, I am a descendent of James and Jane (Lloyd) and would love to share info with him. Please leave a new post or contact me via genes reunited or ancestry both in the names of Irene Dobson or me Jane Dobson. Would love to hear from you.

    By Jane Dobson (19/04/2014)
  • Whilst researching my family tree, I  discovered that my great great grandmother Louisa wood was born at no 54 Russell St on 22 June 1873 as the daughter of Thomas Rueben Wood and Frances (or Francis ). Her maiden name was Urben. She went on to marry my great great grandfather William Stewart born 19 September 1844. They moved to 2 Spring St. Brighton, where my grandfather was born on 20 March 1885. Louisa did have a daughter previous to meeting my G.G grandfather William, born 20 January 1875 named Agnes Hobden and she was living at 142 Weston Road at the time.

    By Kevan Stewart (30/05/2014)
  • Hi, I am trying to locate a copy of a photograph of the residents of Russell Street outside a public house taken around 1925. This was the only photograph I owned of my grandmother and of my father as a child and sadly was borrowed from me and not returned. If anyone can help please contact me at

    By Sharon Morley (08/08/2014)
  • I made comments in July 2013 re my GG Grandfather Henry Spicer, Andy Grant was kind enough to reply 13 July 2013 and I refer to this. Does anyone have information on the Henry Spicer he mentioned, christened on 25 October 1822 at St Nicholas Church, Brighton, parents Joseph and Mary Spicer?  I note this Henry had a brother Stephen born in 1820 who married a Mary Cramp 25 Dec 1842. Thank you. 

    By Jilly Limb (30/04/2015)
  • Further to my comments of July 2013 and April 2015 re info. on GG Grandfather Henry Spicer who boarded at 9 Russell Street in the 1840/50s when ashore per his Merchant Navy Card.  1841 Parish Census records show a Stephen Spicer living in Russell St and in 1851 at 11 Upper Russell St, Brighton, Occ Labourer; Wife Mary, Children Mary Ann, Harriett & Charles plus a Thomas Lower and James Towner.  Occupation Painter at some stage, but I don’t have a date for this.  I’m looking for any info. showing ‘my’ Henry Spicer born Oct or Nov 1822, Brighton is Stephen’s brother whose parents were Joseph and Mary.  Were Russell Street and Upper Russell Street the same or two different addresses.  Thank you.  e-mail

    By Jilly Limb (15/10/2016)
  • Re: Jilly Limb, 16/10/2016. Russell St ran north from the seafront. Upper Russell St ran across the top for about 200 yards, half was a cleared site (maybe bombs?) the remainder was a meat market. Sansineana (spelling unsure) next door at no 16 was an upholstery shop, my father and grandfather’s. Feel free to contact me if you think I can help.

    By Ivor Boofty (20/12/2016)
  • Thank you Ivor. I was wondering if Stephen’s address at 11 Upper Russell St was next to/near 9, Russell St back in the 1840s/50s?

    By Jilly Limb (08/03/2017)
  • I have been trying to research no 6, Upper Russell Street, where my great grandmother was born in October 1888. I wanted to try and find out whether the family was boarding there.

    By Emma A (10/02/2018)
  • In Kelly’s 1914 that address is listed as ‘Mrs Pullinger, apartments’ so may well have been that in 1888.

    By Geoffrey Mead (11/02/2018)
  • Hello Emma A – I’m looking at this page for the first time in a couple of years, and was interested to see your post.    (See mine of 19/03/2011).  Mrs Jane Pullinger was my maternal great-grandmother and her daughter, Caroline (born December 1894), my grandmother, helped her in running what we were always told was a boarding house. I’m not sure if Jane Pullinger was at number 6 as early as 1888, so possibly this was in the hands of another landlady then. If you could leave a post giving your g-grandmother’s maiden name, perhaps that might throw some light on the matter.   BTW, in response to Geoffrey Mead’s post, Jane Pullinger died shortly after learning her son, Harold, died at Ypres (Battle of Mont Sorrell) in June 1916).

    By Pat Bampton (17/03/2018)
  • RE- Jilly limb ) 08/03/2017. sorry I am late, just noticed your mail !!!In 1948, I was 8/9 years of age. Upper Russell St started from the North Street end and went West. as you entered the North St end, the Right hand, or north side, had been cleared, I think from bomb damage and looked like a car park except there were not many cars around in 1948.. My Father’s shop was the first building, no 16, and was linked to a meat warehouse. Russell St ran from the seafront north, and would have been no more than a couple of minutes walk away bearing in mind that the odd numbers were on the south side of Upper Russell St.

    By ivor boofty (16/05/2018)
  • Apparently George Burden McKean, Captain and Canada’s highest decorated World War 1 Army Recruit lived in No. 2 Russell Street shortly after marrying a local girl by the name of Mary Hilton in 1924. Two years later McKean died after an accident in  a sawmill in Cuffley, Hertfordshire. He is buried in the Extra Mural Cemetery in Brighton.

    By Peter Bourne (24/08/2018)
  • I have a letter of reference for my great grandfather, Richard Eade, dated 12/10/1910. He was employed by C. Martin and son, mattress makers, Upholsterers. The business address was 50 Upper Russell st, Brighton. The caption below the address is “12 doors down from Soper’s, North st.”

    By Tracey Dobiecki (31/07/2020)
  • Hello, just been reading the comments as I am researching a relatives grandfather and grandmother who lived at 23 Russell Street Brighton and have drawn a blank on my research for them. Otto Rene Gilomen and Annie Cheek (Chick) had this address on their marriage certificate. I am truly hoping that someone may see this and have any info regarding the address, I note there is a neighbour on here who put number 22 Russell street wondered if they knew these people in 1919.

    Hi Debbie we don’t publish emails – scammers take them. Try James Gray Collection for images
    Good Luck
    Website Editor

    By Debbie (27/04/2021)
  • I am so sorry Jennifer I didn’t realize about emails. Thank you for the link. Debbie.

    By Deborah Eddy (26/05/2021)
  • Kelly’s Directory 1914 shows at 23 Russell Street George May, apartments; similarly at 22 & 24 both lodging houses. 12 ‘apartments’ listed in the street and 5 ‘lodgings’. Pikes Directory 1925 shows 23
    Russell Street as G.May ‘whitesmith’; he was a worker in non-ferrous metals.

    By Dr Geoffrey Mead (27/05/2021)
  • Hello Everyone, I’m Marina and I have been trying to research number 36, Russell Street in Brighton where my grandfather was born in 22 November 1882; his family Allfrey lived there until 1900. In Kelly’s Directory of Sussex, shows Builders: Allfrey, W(is William) & Sons 36, Russel st. Father and sons were builders. In 1900 they moved to Albourne. I wanted to try to find photos and find out whether the family was boarding there.

    By Marina Allfrey (14/06/2021)

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