A query about its history

A query about its history

From Andrew McCarthy, e-mail query to My Brighton and Hove website, 25 May 2001

“At long last I’ve decided to change from a regular visitor to Brighton and to become a resident.

At the moment I’m in the process of buying 41 Upper North Street and am told by the current owners that it was originally a Regency House but has had a Victorian makeover. The street itself intrigues me and I wondered at its history.

The only thing I can work out from websites is that a census report shows a carpenter lived there in the early 1800’s. Is there a connection between the street’s (and No.41’s carpenter) past and the number of antique shops there? There are a number of residential properties with old shopfronts.

Was Upper North Street a shopping street or were there more furniture/antique shops?”

Response – 41 Upper North Street and the history of the shops on Upper North Street
From Jan Hill, My Brighton and Hove volunteer, 28 June 2001

“I was in the Local Studies Library today and had a look in the directories for 41 Upper North Street. This is what I found….

Street numbering changed sometime between 1871 and 1876. The house which is now 41 was previously 36. From 1862 (first listing of that property which I could find) until around 1885 the resident was John Harvey (no trade listed). From around 1885 to the start of the 1900s, resident was P Kensett (no trade listed). From around 1910 until 1974 and maybe later, occupant was A.E. Guile (later Miss Guile) and the building is listed as apartments.

The builder that Andrew McCarthy found at number 41 in the 1800s was presumably W South but that building became 46 in the present numbering. Number 41 had a pub two doors in one direction “The Fox Tavern” at number 39 and “The Blacksmiths Arms” at 44.

Many trades in the immediate area of number 41 over the years, including cheesemonger, boot maker, lace-joiner, wardrobe buyer, fishmonger and many lodging houses. No particular predominance of furniture shops or antique shops. “

Comments about this page

  • I remember Susan Gayle well. I had not remembered the Dowsetts but now do – at least as a name. Whatever happened to Susan Gayle? I think at one time she may have become a hairdresser as a young adult.

    By Edward Castle-Herbert (05/08/2006)
  • Does anyone know ‘anything’ about the short road called Spring Road running between Upper North Street and Western Road? It is mainly residential with a pub and a few barbers, but I wonder if it was shop-filled like many other secondary streets in towns. A friend has moved into a house on the street and it has the most amazing bowed ceilings and staircase leaning to one side. The age of the properties would be interesting.

    By Jonathan Lovelace (22/11/2006)
  • Does anyone have any information about a family who lived in Upper North Street during the 50s and perhaps early 60s called Marshand (I am however not at all sure of the spelling of their name)?

    By Edward (25/05/2007)
  • Does anyone have any recollections of the late Marion Craske who owned an antique shop in the street for many years?

    By Edward Castle-Herbert (25/05/2007)
  • I lived at 81 Upper NNorth Street since my birth till I was about 15. I remember Miss Guile, I lived over the road from her and your contributer Edward Castle.

    By Patrick Kite (02/07/2007)
  • I used to live on the corner of Montpelier Place and Bourgh Street (Rawlinson End) and the guy that lived in the basement, Gordon, was Brighton through and through. He ran an upholstery business in North Street where the big surf shop now is. Before that it was a Bingo Hall. Above Gordon’s shop there was an illegal bare fist fight den around the 1950’s.
    Gordon had the original house documents on parchment at Rawlinson End and it showed that it was a well house in the 1800’s that supplied the area. Unfortunately, I could never back this up with anything I found at the museum. Does anyone have any information on this?

    By Dave Hands (18/12/2007)
  • We own the GFF at 6 Montpelier Place, next door to the Montpelier Inn which we understand used to be a shop. Does anyone have any information about this property?

    By Steve Moses (08/03/2008)
  • I am Brighton born and remember the early years of my life (1948 to 1953) in 39 Upper North Street. Not the best place in the world being an old pub and full of nooks and cellars. My uncle Reg Phillips had a Marley Tiles shop below the residential accomodation and my uncle Ron Phillips had a clothing manufacturing business in Marlborough Street.

    By Brian Phillips (24/06/2009)
  • My childhood friend, Judy Donaghue, used to live in Upper North Street – she attended Middle Street Junior School with me in 1950 /1951. Anyone remember the Donaghues?

    By Elizabeth (Bertha) Byrne (25/04/2010)
  • I lived at 51 Upper North St – probably 1951 – 1953. Went to St Mary Magdalen’s – scouts, organ, & had friends in the area.

    By Tony de Mazia (14/12/2010)
  • My daughter Nadheera and her husband Chandran live in 50 Upper North Street along with my grandchildren. They have called it the Conner Shop from March 2009. This is an update for all the folks who lived around this area.

    By Nizam (08/04/2011)
  • Alan-I think you have a sister called Elizabeth, my twin sister and I used to come to your house to play. I remember the houses all the way down Spring Street -we lived in Victoria Street and we must have gone to school together -St Paul’s in West Street. I remember playing hide and seek in your house and knocking over a full potty under the bed-didn’t we all have them to avoid the outside loo at night?

    By Belinda Lumsden (22/10/2011)
  • Hi Belinda, yes I certainly remember you – not your twins though, but did you have a brother Michael? Indeed I do have a sister alive and well and living in Saltdean, a grandmother called Liz. Were you my school year or hers? Any news of St Paul’s people would be great.

    By Alan Taylor (26/10/2011)
  • Hi Alan: my twin sister is Vanessa and my brother Brian. I was born in 1956 and went to St Paul’s from 1959. I remember Spring Street as you describe. Victoria Street was similar with no cars and safe to play. Do you remenber Frederick’s Barber shop on corner in Upper North Street? We were sent along with my brother for haircuts; needless to say they resembled short back and sides. I have commented on St Paul’s in the Schools category on this site and there are a few people who were there at the same time – have a look. Sadly I don’t see anyone from that time. I do think a reunion would be good! I remember a lot of us lived in the Powis/Upper North Street area

    By Belinda Lumsden (27/10/2011)
  • For very nearly 20 years now, I’ve worked at the ugly Crown House in Upper North Street/Regent Hill, does anyone have any info on what was there before? There have been times, when people have had to stay overnight (security etc) that things have been ‘seen’ and some have been spooked. Never had any of that myself, and I have spent nights alone there, although most buildings have ‘noises’ at night.

    By Ken Valder (29/10/2011)
  • Fascinating reading about all of you being born or living around Western Road and upper North St. B’ton. I lived on Western Road near Montpelier St and went to school at St Mary Magdalen’s R.C co-ed school from around 1947 – 1949 after Reverend Mother at the Blessed Sacrament Convent asked my mother to take me away as she said I was a bad influence on the other girls! I believe I was a bit of a tom boy. I enjoyed the more relaxed atmosphere in the co-ed school and made friends with Molly Brown and Elizabeth Bartholomew and remember a John Summerfield who lived opposite the School – whose mother worked at a Coffee Shop at Clock Tower. I now live in Australia.

    By Patricia Maynard (03/11/2011)
  • John Summerfield was my father and you are correct about his mother. He has passed away now but he always talked about that school.

    By Jarrett Summerfield (10/06/2013)
  • My grandmother owned a guest house which was at 27 Upper North Street. She sold it in 1987 but had it for about 20+ years. Her name was Hilda Hartley.

    By Kelly Priestley (13/08/2013)
  • I am the owner of number 45 Upper North Street. It is currently an osteopathic practice and back care shop. I’ve always wondered who lived at this address in the past and what the shop was originally in the 1830s. Does anyone have any idea?

    By Gerry Carter (23/01/2014)
  • Hi Gerry, 45 Upper North Street was built in the 1830s and was probably a grocer’s store from the outset. In 1840 it was numbered 40 Upper North Street and in the hands of John Botting, a grocer. It was renumbered to 45 around 1871 and remained as a grocers until around 1964, after which time it became an antique dealer.

    By Andy Grant (23/01/2014)
  • Hi, can anyone remember the family that had a fishmongers on the south side of Upper North St? If I remember rightly both the husband and the wife were short of a leg. There was a son David, they lived in Stapley Rd,Hove. I often wondered what happened to David-he seemed to just disappear.


    By Lesley Brett (Sheminant) (18/01/2016)
  • Hi Alan Taylor. My mother, myself and two older sisters, lived opposite you in Spring Street until the houses on your side of the road were demolished to provide a playground for St Mary Magdalene School. We used to play with you, your sister Elizabeth and Frances who lived further up the road.

    By Sarah Greenwood nee Woods (21/05/2017)
  • I would be really interested in piecing together some information about the history of The Windmill pub if anyone can help me?

    By Rosie (11/09/2017)
  • I lived in 51 Upper North Street around 1939/1942 as a child. A bomb that failed to explode dropped in Spring Street outside the basement entrance to 51 Upper North Street.

    By Edwin Miller (26/10/2018)
  • My Great Grand Father died at 44 Upper North Street in 1888, at that time he was described as being a Greengrocer and Beerseller. His name was John Wilton. If anyone has any information especially if this was before or after the renumbering of the Street I would be very interested.

    By Shirley Turner (10/08/2019)

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