Originally the home of Thomas Read Kemp

Girls’ School, once a private house
This is a building at the bottom of our road. It used to be a private house and it is now a girls’ school, the view of which you can’t see much of because there is a wall surrounding it.

Home of Thomas Read-Kemp
This building was the original home of Thomas Read-Kemp, who built Kemp Town.

Design based on Solomon’s Temple
When it was first built it was the most extraordinary place just in the middle of fields with nothing around it at all and Kemp allegedly designed it around descriptions from the Bilble on Solomon’s temple and that’s why the original house, when he was living in it, was called the Temple.

Montpelier Crescent
This picture is of Montpelier Crescent which is just up from the girls’ school on the right-hand side of Montpelier Road, frequented by people early in the morning walking their dogs.

Site of cricket ground
Before Montpelier Crescent was actually built this was called Lea’s Trap or Lillywhites also known as the Temple Fields cricket ground and in 1842 Sussex actually played all-England on Montpelier Crescent.

Comments about this page

  • I am very interested in the Temple School. I am aware that my great grandfather ran a private school in the Brighton / Hove area called The Temple (or similar). My great grandfather was called Prideaux Selby Rickards, he was born in 1801 and died in Hove in 1861. He had a total of 14 children(!!) – many of whom lived with him at The Temple. I have details of a census report of around 1850 confirming this information. Are you able to confirm that we are talking about the same Temple?

    By Nicholas Rickards (30/06/2006)
  • The reference to the Temple omits to mention that the school which has occupied this building for many years is the Brighton and Hove High School for Girls which is a member of the Girls’ Public Day School Trust.

    By Peter Bailey (02/07/2006)
  • I was most interested to read the comments from Nicholas Rickards concerning The Temple, Brighton. I too am a relation of Prideaux Selby Rickards (my maternal grandmother’s father was one of the youngest of his 14 children – his name was Charles Dudley Rickards (1849-1916) and my grandmother’s was Laura Beatrice (1904-1981). I have been doing some research on The Temple over the past few years and have been in contact with a very nice lady from Chilliwack, BC, who was a former student at the school and has been kind enough to provide me with a lot of infomation and also many photographs. I am fortunate enough to possess a pair of fine miniature portraits of Prideaux Selby and his wife Mary Anne painted by Anne Hayter in 1836. I also have a small 19th century engraving of The Temple and a family tree sent to me by Edward Rickards back in the 1980s. If Nicholas Rickards would like to contact me, please feel free to do so.

    By Richard Haskell (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) (09/08/2006)
  • I attended Brighton and Hove High School from 1999-2004 and feel that I gained a vast amount of confidence and knowledge during that time. I am sorry to note the changes which have been made but things move on. Does anyone remember Mrs Baker?

    By Heidi Taylor (23/10/2006)
  • My maternal grandfather, Henry R. Rickards (br.1870 London)was the son of Henry Selby Rickards (br.1819 Colchester), and the younger brother of Prideaux Selby Rickards who ran a private school in Brighton. My great grandfather was a General in the Egyptian Service, he was also known in Egypt as Abdullah Pasha, El Ingilisy. His first wife, said to have been an Egyptian Princess died (circa 1869) and he returned to England. He went through a form of marriage to Catherine (br.1840 Brighton), the daughter of his brother Prideaux Selby Rickards. My great grandfather was drawn back to the Middle East but not to Egypt. He spent his retirement in Beirut with his wife Catherine. After his demise in 1886, Catherine remained in their Beirut home until her death there some years later. I made a special trip to Beirut in January 2003 as part of my research. They are buried in the French Evangelical Cemetery, their identical marble graves side by side. I am in the process of researching for a book I am writing about my forebears’ and my own life spent in the Middle East (Egypt,Syria & Turkey). I have no information on the schooling in England of these long past relatives nor on the military training and career of my own great grandfather.

    By Patrick C N Grigsby (01.12.20060 (01/12/2006)
  • I attended Brighton and Hove High School from 1950 to 1964; what is now the Sixth Form Centre was the Junior Dept but there is now a new one built elsewhere in the town.

    By Rosie Rushton (07/09/2013)
  • I went to Brighton and Hove High from 1952 (aged 7) until 1958 (aged 13) both junior and high school.  We then moved to London and I transferred to South Hampton  High (also a member of GPDST). I can still remember my days and many friends made in school in Brighton and  Hove. I am now nearly  73 & have lived in Australia since 1966 but still remember my childhood days with such happy memories.  The headmistress at high school was Miss Ashcroft. Does anyone remember her or me? Would love to hear from anyone.

    By Sue Levin (10/06/2018)
  • To Nicholas Rickards and Richard Haskell from 2006: the 1861 Census shows Prideaux S Rickards at 57 Lansdown Place, Hove, with his wife, eight children and nine pupils, plus other staff and servants. The 1871 Census shows Prideaux at Dudley House, Lansdown Place, Hove (almost certainly the same property), with his wife, 19 children and 15 pupils. This is not the same address as the Temple, which is in Temple Gardens, Montpelier Road, Brighton. His death is recorded in Dec 1867 (not 1861), aged 67. I hope this information helps.

    By Alan Hobden (11/06/2018)
  • The second census I referred to was the earlier one in 1851, not 1871, and it should have read 10 children, not 19.

    By Alan Hobden (12/06/2018)
  • During Miss Ashcrofts time as Head Mistress, a science and art block were added to the Temple. It was accessed through her study which was moved into the library, which in turn took over the art room. The larger old science room became the first year sixth form room. The smaller science room was for the second year sixth formers while the smallest science room was supposed to be a social space. Prior to the new science block girls taking physics with chemistry “O”level only had use of a science lab for two out of three lessons. Despite these short comings there were if I remember correctly good “A”level results.

    By Susan Elsie Hall nee Minor (04/09/2021)

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