From retirement village to thriving community
In 1913 Brighton Corporation bought the ‘manor estate’ of Ovingdean, some 1041 acres and also 26 acres of the parish of Rottingdean for £34,100. The total of this area, was called ‘The East Brighton Estate’. Its previous owner, Steyning Beard had just died leaving a gross estate valued at £93,030. This had included most of Ovingdean, together with areas of Rottingdean and Telscombe. However, he had left debts of £63,000 which were mostly accrued by gambling and ‘other pursuits’. As this is a family site I will not go into what these other pursuits were but suffice to say they included activities a gentleman should not engage in!
First generation shacks and bungalows
From 1919 to 1939 – first generation shacks and bungalows were built on plots on ‘Long Hill’. We should note that virtually all this housing development is on land not owned by Brighton Corporation. On the 1st April 1928 Ovingdean civil parish was incorporated into the Brighton County Borough. From 1945 onwards second generation houses – replacing the first generation bungalows – were built in Ovingdean. This period of development accelerated in the 1970s and ‘upmarket’ housing and infilling became prevalent.