|View looking east|
Judy Middleton in her "Encyclopaedia of Hove & Portslade" provides a fascinating history of this unusual development. The villas were designed by architect E J Holland for developer Michael Paget Baxter (MPB). From 1908 onwards piles were sunk 20 feet into the foreshore to support a huge concrete platform on which the villas were erected using 12" thick concrete blocks and railway sleepers. MPB and his wife lived in no.1 at the eastern end, the first one to be built. Originally it had tennis courts and a rose garden. They stayed put, even during WW2, when the villas were requisitioned by the Royal Canadian Airforce and an ack-ack gun was installed on the roof.
MPB was a friend of Edward VII and Lord of the Manor of Aldrington. When Hove Corporation were minded to convert what was then just marshland into Hove Lagoon, MPB claimed rights over the area by virtue of his lordship and entered into a dispute with the corporation which lasted from 1923 to 1926.
The villas are in great demand and fetch several £M when they come on the market. A succession of famous people have lived there: David Jones (artist); Robin Ray; Oscar Loewenstein; and latterly: Nick Berry; Derek Jameson; Heather Mills; and Norman Cook.
See also: Hove Seaside Villas