Sunday, 23 January 2011

Arnold House Hotel

Arnold House in Montpelier Terrace was built in 1861 on the site of a former farm house and was occupied, until his death in 1903, by Henry Willett the founder of Brighton Museum and friend of the Victorian aesthete John Ruskin. It became a hotel in 1939, and had roof dormers added; but it retained much timeless charm and attractiveness both inside and out until its wanton demolition in 1971. At the rear was a large well-stocked garden the south end of which now forms the east end of Waitrose car park. 

It was replaced with a block of flats of hideous mediocrity the only point in its favour being that the roof line was kept to that of the adjoining buildings:-
It seems as if the wrought-iron lettering on the front couldn't decide if it wanted to be upright or italic so was installed on a slant in the hope no one would notice!


  1. We have completely lost the plot. What so upsets me is that we don't seem to have learnt. It is clear that much that was of real architectural value was blown away in the 70's and earlier decades but Council planning committees and their advisors still buckle when confronted with money and a crap design.

  2. Was this not a Boarding School in 1901? I have my father Gerald Alfred Body and my Uncle being there, as boarders in the 1901 census i.e boarder 9 Arnold house Hove. The family address at the time 55 Brunswick place Hove

  3. Ivor, the street indexes shows that it was still occupied by Henry Willett in 1901 and by Mrs Willett in 1908.

  4. we spent our honeymoon at the Arnold Hotel in November 1956. There were a lot of elderly people living there permanently. We had a lovely room with the windows depicting Spring Summer Autumn and Winter in stained glass. Every evening there was entertainment or dancing which is probably why we chose it as we loved dancing. Sad to know it was pulled down. That is what they call progress !

  5. My grandparents stayed here 21st June 1939 - perhaps when it first opened, as I have a great group photo of all residents with date marker taken on the rear lawns.


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