Friday, 13 December 2013

The York Building

Built in 1884 as the 'York Place Higher Grade School' this is a high quality building by local architects Simpson & Sons built to high specifications in typical Brighton Board School style. It was one of the first Higher grade schools built in the south and provided the direct antecedent of state secondary education.

Viewed from the green behind St. Peter's the York building rises imposingly above the cobble-fronted cottages and is complemented by the castellated gateway in York Place. It is directly adjacent to the North Laine and Valley Garden Conservation Areas and its roofline and upper stories  are an important feature of the historic townscape of the area.

The building lies within the City College site which is the subject of outline planning application BH2013/01600. This application which calls for the demolition of the York Building came before the planning committee on the 11th December with a recommendation to grant from the Council's planning department. The Council officer presenting the application described the York building as of "limited townscape interest". At the end of the debate, by the casting vote of the Chairman, the Committee was minded to grant the application.

Thus does another part of old Brighton seemed doomed to become a heap of wasteful rubble . . . .

The Gateway


  1. This would be a shame - I was at Brighton Technical College back in the 90s. We used to have some of our lectures in the York building...

  2. I attended Margaret Hardy from 1957-1962. My grandfather attended when it was York Place Higher Grade School. Another piece of Brighton history doomed I fear.

  3. it would be a shame I went to it back in 82

  4. "limited townscape interest", interesting comment....Maybe the Trafalger Building at the front is now looking tired and run down with its lost roof from the war but if it had to go. That makes ways for the more impressive York building. The people who have viewed this building, say that it's a magnificent piece of architecture and full of brighton history, especially throught the wars and the centenary this year, not forgetting people tracing their family trees and viewing the school/s their ancestors and so on. Shame that it come to the land being sold to fund the new College. Brighton University will be purchasing the land and have planning permission the knock down and start again with new student accommodation or could they be bold and keep a bit of Brighton Education architecture as Brighton University were once part of Brighton Technical College and save some of the history. I wonder....


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