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Widows' Cottages

Tillstone Street c1946

When Spa Street was demolished in the late 1890s under a slum clearance scheme, and replaced by Tillstone Street which runs from Park Hill to Eastern Road. It contained a row of almshouses built in 1852 by the Soames family for needy widows over sixty years of age remained on the site.  In the background of the first photograph is the chimney of St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church.

The cottages remained in occupation until the mid 1960s. They were then demolished and Brighton Corporation subsequently built six one-bedroomed flats as shown in the second photograph.

Click on the photographs to open a large version in a new page.

Tillstone Street 2012

Comments about this page

  • In the first photo the rather fine chimney of St Andrews Presbyterian Church – now Park Hill Evangelical Church – is actually a sewer vent. It is now somewhat shortened but must be one of the more impressive sewer vents in the city!

    By Chris Fry (21/06/2012)
  • My mother lives in one of these one bedroom flats and has done for over 30 years. They were used for elderly people but now are offered to anyone on the Council lists. It is interesting to see the picture above with a parking space – this is a rarity indeed in everyday life!

    By Laine (28/06/2012)
  • My nan lived in Tillstone Street, having moved from Queen’s Park place, I used to visit as a school boy in the mid sixties. The famous, Harry Cowley, lived in the street, and I remember seeing him in his bowler hat.

    By Colin Phillimore (09/02/2020)
  • I lived in number 25 Tillstone Street as a child from the mid-50s and my parents were there until they died in the 1980s. My father used to speak of ‘Bill the Fish’ who also lived in the street and sold fish.

    By Pamela P (25/09/2020)
  • Does anyone know what happened to number 1 Tillstone Street and at what point it was demolished? I’m assuming it was replaced by the large shop now on the corner but perhaps it was somewhere else?

    By Rebecca (13/12/2020)
  • My Granddad Jim Parrett lived at 33 Tillstone St with his second wife Dot & his step daughter Josie, who was a conductor on the buses from the depot in Park St. I was born in Park St in 1954 so knew the flat in Tillstone St well & visited up until he died in the 70’s. He was a boilerman/stoker at the Kemp Town brewery & mum was at that flat as a child during the war & was once shot at with school friends walking home there by a returning German fighter.

    By Rob (17/12/2020)
  • Does anyone know anything more about the 1 bed flats that replaced the Almhouses / Widows Cottages? Particularly, I am interested in any photos that might show the rear gardens and particularly the large retaining wall.

    By Vicky Gunn (17/05/2021)

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