Welcome to North Laine!

Photo of typical North Laine shops
Image reproduced by kind permission of www.imagesbrighton.com

Your editor
Your editor for the North Laine is Peter Crowhurst. If you’ve got any queries about this area, or can add any information, photos or memories, please send My Brighton and Hove a message via the Comments form at the bottom of this page.

It’s like being in an urban village
I have lived in the North Laine since 1987 and feel it is very much my home. The area has a rich mix of people, and a history which very much reflects the history of Brighton and indeed the history of this country. Living in the North Laine is like being in an urban village with a mix of small retail business, manufacturing, warehousing units sitting alongside Victorian houses. The North Laine is a vibrant community and after you have lived in a street for a few years you feel vey much part of the community. Just walking to the local shops can take hours as you bump into neighbours and have a little chat  to each person you meet. I have taken a particular interest in the residents association for the area, the North Laine Community Association, which promotes the benefit of local residents and seeks to protect the character of the area, adn in fact was elected Chair of the Community Association in April 2006.

Comments about this page

  • I have a small water colour painting of The Rising Sun Pub that was in Tidy Street Brighton done by a customer – anyone interested?

    By George Coombs (19/07/2004)
  • I am interested in finding out more about the pre-industrial use of the North Laine, in particular Kensington Street and Kensington Gardens, and the site of the Argus Building. Was this area market gardens? If so, what sources of information are there about it? I’d be grateful for any help .

    By Jo Aris (14/09/2004)
  • Hi, this is rather odd, I have been to Brighton several times and I think it is really fab but there is this one road, its really hippy-ish, the thing is I don’t know the name. The descriptions I have are that there are lots of independent retailers and lots of jewellery shops, there is a D.I.Y and then at the end there is a guitar and drum shop. I really want to know the name of the peircing parlour as I want to make an appointment for next time I visit – any ideas? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    By Emily (01/07/2006)
  • Looking at the photos of North Laine brings back some memories from when I was a kid. Is this the place that used to be called Kensington Gardens in the past?

    By Mick Peirson (23/11/2006)
  • During the 60s this area was known to the old Brighton Police bobbys as “Smash and Grab Alley”. It was a favourite place to send new young bobbys at night, with just a whistle and their wits to protect them.

    By Raymond (Dickie) Bird (20/12/2006)
  • Yes, this street is called Kensington Gardens. The North Laine (from South to North) goes: Bond Street, Gardner Street, Kensington Gardens and Sidney Street. I work pretty much where this photo was taken from, in one of Brighton’s numerous jewellery shops.

    By Kate (12/03/2007)
  • I love the story about Kensington Gardens when the local bobbys called it “smash and grab alley”. I work there now in 2008 it puts wonderful pictures in my mind of times past.

    By simon (10/08/2008)
  • I was interested to see Mick Peirson’s question, as it’s similar to mine. I was born, grew up and lived in Brighton/Portslade/Hove/then Brighton again from 1948 to 1983, then moved to Scotland. In all that time, I never heard anyone use the term North Laine for that area. The name was completely new to me when I visted Brighton after a long gap a few years ago. We always used the term Kensington Gardens to cover the whole area, and so did everyone I knew. When did it start being called North Laine? Is it a resurrection of an ancient name or a new name? I don’t object to it (unlike Brighton Pier, which is always going to be The Palace Pier to me!) but I’m curious.

    By Honor (23/10/2008)
  • For those people who wish to know a little more about the history of the North Laine you might want to take a look at the North Laine Community Association’s website http://www.nlcaonline.org.uk/category_id__18.aspx

    By Peter Crowhurst (18/02/2009)
  • I’m doing some research about North Laine and what it was like in the 60s- 70s. The comment above about the Brighton Police bobbies was really interesting and if anyone could give me some more info on topics like this, that would be great. Anything about what the people were like, the nightlife or any big changes that occured during this time would be really helpful.

    By K. Micuta (14/06/2009)
  • Hi George, I know this is a long shot as your comment is from 2004, so I hope you get this. If you still have the painting of ‘The Rising Sun’ in Tidy Street I would be very interested to see it. I’m currently doing research on Tidy Street for a local project and only have Census and Directory information on the pub. Any additional info you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Would you also know of the Gasfitter’s Arms at No. 33?

    By Nick Healey (03/09/2010)
  • I grew up during the war above my parents shop in Kensington Gardens, it was never called the North Lanes then. I went back to see it about eight years ago, seemed so much narrower, when you are small things look bigger. I remember most of the shops along the Street then, it has changed immensely. Makes me feel quite home sick.

    By Anita (24/10/2011)

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