Knapped flint: St Nicholas's Church
Photo by Tony Mould
Knapped flint: St Nicholas's Church detail
Photo by Tony Mould
Knapped flint: The Druid's Head
Photo by Tony Mould
Cobbled flint: Bartholomew's
Photo by Tony Mould
Cobbled flint: Marlborough Place
Photo by Tony Mould
Cobbled flint detail
Photo by Tony Mould

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 changes and events.


The most common local building stone, closely associated with chalk, is flint, either rough stones picked up from the fields or smoothed, round flint cobbles (known locally as ‘pitchers’) from the beaches.

In many cases the flints have been ‘knapped’ to present a flat face to the exterior, and on some of the larger houses the flints are also ‘squared’ to give a regular coursing; the random joints formed when knapped flints are not squared are known as ‘snail-creep’ {296a}. Good examples of knapped flint buildings can be seen at Ovingdean, Patcham, Rottingdean and Stanmer villages; at St Nicholas’s Church; the Druid’s Head, Brighton Place; and 8 Ship Street. Knapped and squared flints may be seen at Court House and Down House, Rottingdean; Southdown House, Patcham; Home Farmhouse, Withdean; and in Preston at 36 North Road, 199 Preston Road, and in South Road.

Flint-cobble buildings, often coated with tar to improve weather-proofing, are common and mostly date from the early nineteenth century. Good examples in the town may be found at Bartholomews; Church Street; the Cricketers Arms, Black Lion Street; Dorset Gardens; Kemp Town Place; Marlborough Place; Middle Street; Mighell Street; New Road; Pavilion Parade; Queen’s Place; Richmond Gardens; St James’s Place; Ship Street; Southover Street; Union Street; Upper Rock Gardens; and York Place.

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