Wednesday 15 September 2010

The Tarner Tower

Probably not many people are aware of this relic of Victorian Brighton which is off the beaten track and involves a 1/4 mile steep climb up Sussex Street from Grand Parade. This neat little tower is situated in Tarner Park at the north end of the small Carlton Hill Conservation Area. This CA was formed mainly from the garden of St. John's Lodge in Tilbury Place but with a southerly extension to include the Mighell Street farmhouse.  

The NEB* states that the Lodge was occupied by merchant Edwin Tarner and his wife Laetitia (nee Tilbury) and then inherited by his son Edwin Tilbury Tarner. In 1933 the property was left to Brighton Corporation by another member of the family a Miss Laetitia Tilbury Tarner. The top of the tower must have commanded an excellent view over the fast developing town and the Bay of Sussex.  The NEB suggests it was built by Edward Tarner in the mid-1800's so that he could spot his homeward bound ships coming up the channel and be in London in time to meet them. 

The information provided at the site seems inconsistent. A damaged plaque states that the tower was built in 1832 by Edwin Tilbury.

*The New Encyclopaedia of Brighton.


  1. I've lived in Brighton (or Hove actually) for over 50 years and I have never heard of this tower before. Thanks for letting me know about it.

  2. You are very welcome. Thanks for looking. :-)

  3. Great blog
    Just dropped by to tell you about TARNER STORIES, a new project funded by Heritage Lottery and run by Brighton Unemployed Centre Families Project in Tilbury. The aim is to record the history of a marginalised slice of the city through recording interviews with past and present residents and using film, photography and creative writing to bring it to life.
    Check out our website at

  4. Looks interesting


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