Friday, 8 March 2013

Spring Street - then & now

c. 1908
Spring Street was built in the 1820's and named after a stream which may have shared its source with the artesian well ½ mile away at Wick Hall, now St. Ann's Well Gardens. This well, once prolific, ceased to flow in the late 19th century.

On the corner of Hampton Street, the 1908 photo shows the original 'Shakespeare's Head' public house, at 1 Spring Street. This was rebuilt in its present  form in 1935 as part of the Mitre House development in Western Road. Both Mitre House and the Shakespeare's Head are currently undergoing comprehensive redevelopment. On the opposite corner is 9  Hampton Street which later became a branch of Forfars.

Further up the west side of Spring Street, no.2 was occupied by chimney sweeps Graves & Son for most of the first half of the 20th C. In 1932 no.3 was converted to a newsagent, confectioner, tobacconist, 'Ives' and remained so until 1960. Beyond no.4 the houses 5 to 11 were owned by the catholic church St. Mary Magdalene, the presbytery of which can be see at the top of the street.  Houses 5 to 11 were demolished some time in the second half of the century as part of the development of St. Mary Magdalene's school. Some of them were later rebuilt to modern standards but in fairly sympathetic style.  

On the opposite side of Spring Street (east) many properties were adapted to commercial use throughout the 20th C. including; a greengrocer, tailor, cycle shop, hairdresser, cafe, watchmaker and dairy. The last can be made out in the 1908 photo called 'Gearings Dairy'. It later became 'Jenkins Dairies'


  1. Always fascinating to see how Brighton has changed, too often not for the better...

  2. I love your then and now pics! It's awesome to see the change, but I think I agree with Nota Bene that it may not really be fore the better.

  3. Richard Hazelgrove1 April 2015 at 19:59

    One of Granddad's saddles hanging on the wall outside the Spring Street shop. I would think that's a mounting block over the gutter. Larkin the Saddler, at least twelve branches, Brighton, Hove, Rye and elsewhere.

  4. My great great grandparents, Mary Ann and Charles Fox are listed in the 1871 census as living in Spring Street. He was a master shoemaker and she was a dressmaker/milliner. I intend to visit soon!

    1. My great great grandfather William Wenham was the landlord of the Shakespeare's Head Pub in Spring Street c1861.

  5. My great great grandparents are listed in the 1871 census as living in Spring Street. Mary Ann and Charles Fox, she was a dressmaker/milliner and he was a master bootmaker.


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