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Then and now photos

19th century view
This photo shows the house at 78 West Street owned by Henry Thrale and his wife. In the 18th century, they played host to many literary guests, including Dr Johnson.  There are seven tie-posts for horses outside the house. One of these is still in place in 2004.

20th century view
In this photo, Chatfield’s hotel stands on the site now occupied by the Walkabout backpackers’ hostel.  The tallest building is owned by the Ritz Roller Rink and stands on the site of the Thrale’s house. The bay-fronted house beyond that is unchanged in all three photos.

21st century view
This photo shows West Street, and the site of a house which was often visited by Dr Samuel Johnson.  A blue plaque now marks the spot.

19th century view
Image reproduced with permission from Brighton History Centre
20th century view
From the private collection of Bert Clayton
21st century view
Photograph by Tricia Leonard

Comments about this page

  • Splendid series of same-location pictures. Many changes, but the two-bow-windowed house provides the continuity. The building beyond it also looks like the same one but has had a storey and dormer windows added. So much of old Brighton can still be found despite the ravages of the 50s and 60s, but sometimes you have to look carefully!

    By Len Liechti (05/02/2012)
  • Very interesting indeed. I worked at what was ‘The Pink Coconut’ nightclub during the 1980s. The huge cellars were what would have been the Thrales cellars and were – we all believed – haunted. As well as evenings I worked during the day and I can tell you that sometimes that place could be very creepy indeed – very strange noises even when you knew there was no-one there. Fortunately I had little reason to go down to the cellars but I didn’t envy anyone that did.

    By Lesley Brett (31/05/2014)

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