Feudal agricultural system
In ancient times there were once five fields surrounding the old town of Brighton. They were called Hilly Laine, Little Laine, West Laine, East Laine and North Laine. The word ‘laine’ is Anglo-Saxon in origin and refers to the feudal system of agriculture which divided open fields into furlongs, which were then subdivided for the sake of ownership, into strips.The North Laine of today takes its name from the field that was once situated to the north of old Brighton.
General public often confused
Now, if we are to take notice of the recent sign on the side wall of number 12 Bond Street, it would appear we also have a ‘Bond Street Laine’. It is a fact that a great many of the general public are often confused by the difference in meaning between the simple term ‘lane’, and the ancient term ‘laine’. This latest gaffe in signposting is surely going to add to that confusion.
A comedy of errors
Sadly this mis-naming cannot even be put down to a simple error or misspelling. It was suggested in 1981 by the developers who laid the footpath, which gives access to housing above the shops, and the Church Street car park. The then Borough Engineer endorsed the name, and in the final act of this comedy of errors, the Highways and Transport Committee accepted it.
Please sign the epetition
The Brighton Society has started an epetition on the Brighton and Hove Council website asking for support to lobby the council to revisit their decision on this erroneous naming. Please consider taking the time to sign it and support their request. You can find the petition here.