Formerly known as the Little Laine
The St James’s Street area, formerly known as the Little Laine, was the first area outside of the Old Town of Brighton to be developed. Housing appeared there from the 1770s and good examples can still be seen from this period in Manchester Street and Charles Street.
Because of its location near to the sea and to the fashionable Steine, St James’s Street as it developed in the 1790s rapidly acquired a population of Brighton’s wealthier visitors and residents. This was reflected in the range of shops and services in the street, which was described as “the Bond Street of Brighton”.
As Kemp Town was developed during the nineteenth century, St James’s Street became a fashionable highway to the new quarter. It has never been widened and so contains many original buildings. One-way traffic was introduced in 1968 to ease congestion.