History notes and photo gallery

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.

m) POWIS SQUARE: Built about 1850, the attractive three-storey houses have bow fronts with ironwork balconies and are all listed except nos.12-13 which lie to the east and have angular bays. The garden came under the control of the corporation in 1887 following the 1884 Brighton Improvement Act. The two K6-type telephone kiosks are also listed buildings. {44,126}

n) POWIS VILLAS: Built in the early 1850s, all the houses are listed buildings. No.1 is plain but has a good Doric porch. Nos.10-13 are semi-detached villas with ironwork balconies and verandahs. There is also a good view over the town to the sea. {44}

p) ST.MICHAEL’S PLACE: An impressive street of three and four-storey terraced housing dating from the late 1860s, all with angular bays and black ironwork balconies. {83}

q) TEMPLE GARDENS: This road derives its name from the large building on the northern side now occupied by the Brighton and Hove High School for Girls. The Temple was erected in 1819, probably by A. and A.H.Wilds, as a residence for Thomas Read Kemp in a then quite isolated location. It is said to be based on the Temple of Solomon, and has an unusual ground floor colonnade with Egyptian pilasters, but the exterior was significantly altered in 1911-12 when the domed roof and corner chimneys were removed along with an unusual winding staircase enclosed in a cylindrical compartment. Surrounding the house is a flint garden wall with huge gateposts and lion heads. The Temple is now listed mainly on account of its historical association with Kemp, the founder of Kemp Town who lived in the house until 1827, rather than for any remaining architectural merit.

In the 1830s the building became a young gentlemen’s academy, and since 1880 has been the home of the Brighton and Hove High School for Girls. This school was founded in 1876 at 75 Montpelier Road by the Girls’ Public Day School Trust with the intention of providing more than the superficial education received by girls at that period. In 1891-2 a new south wing was added, and the main building was altered radically in 1911-12 as mentioned above. In more recent years a science wing (1961) and a gymnasium/hall have been added. Still run by the G.P.D.S.T., the High School has about 550 day-girls and boarders, and uses playing fields at the Droveway, Hove.

In 1904 the junior school was removed to 8 Norfolk Terrace, to Montpelier Crescent in 1917, and finally to the Old Vicarage on the southern side of Temple Gardens in 1922. This listed building was built in 1834 for the Revd Henry Wagner and was designed in Tudor-style by a Mr Mew with three gables and a cement rendering. The junior school has around 180 girls.

r) UPPER NORTH STREET: Nos.77-89 on the northern side form an attractive listed terrace of about the 1830s, three-storey houses with fluted Ionic pilasters; nos.73-76 also have Ionic pilasters and there are other examples of impressive, small-scale terraced housing. The bow-fronted no.64 is also listed. The Windmill public house dates from about 1828 and is probably named from Vine’s Mill (see “Vine Place” below); the K6-type telephone kiosk outside is a listed building. The southern side has a mixture of two- and three-storey houses including several antique shops, and nos.42-43, decorated with Ionic pilasters, are listed. The Roman Catholic Church of St Mary Magdalene was erected in 1861-4 to the Early English and Decorated design of Gilbert Blount, a listed red-brick building with elaborately carved stone dressings and a tall spire. The listed red-brick presbytery of around 1890 adjoins to the east with the former St Mary Magdalene School to the west. {44,62}
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.

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