The Enclosures

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 research, changes and events.

f) The ENCLOSURES : The estate gardens are still privately owned, used and maintained by the residents under the management of estate agents Bernard Thorpe; the keys are held by the residents along with twelve selected ‘outsiders’. The principal gardens, occupying about four acres, were enclosed with iron railings in 1823, and until 1828 were three in number as Lewes Crescent was then a continuous roadway. In that latter year they were laid out by landscape gardener Henry Phillips, with the tunnel to the esplanade added in about 1830. William IV and Queen Adelaide, and later Victoria and Albert, enjoyed walking in the gardens on their visits to Brighton. They were set aside exclusively for the pleasure of Edward VII in 1908 when staying with his daughter at 1 Lewes Crescent.
The gardens were extensively replanted in 1878. In 1886 four tennis courts were provided in the southern enclosure, and a croquet lawn, which remained until about 1935, was laid out in 1890 in the northern garden. In 1940 the gardens were taken over by the military, with the tunnel bricked up and the iron railings removed for scrap. They inevitably suffered and were not formally released until May 1946, but restoration took place in 1947, a new fence was erected in August 1949, and the tunnel opened again in 1952. In 1969 the gardens were one of several Brighton locations used for filming Ona clear day you can see for ever, starring Barbra Streisand. The small Arundel and Chichester Terrace lawns have been maintained by the borough council since 1952

Any numerical cross-references in the text above refer to resources in the Sources and Bibliography section of the Encyclopaedia of Brighton by Tim Carder.

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