Saturday, 21 March 2020

At Patcham Roundabout - then & now

Then. The pumping station, which can be seen beyond the railway line, was built in 1889 so this postcard is dated later than that but before the age of the motor car swept all of this away. Note that the railway bridge is a simple brick arch. On the left can be seen the flint wall of Patcham Place, most of which was demolished when the Patcham by-pass was built in 1926.  See also: Patcham Village - then & now.


With the growth of motor transport came the need to provide the same headroom over the whole width of the road and the brick arch was replaced with beams supported at their ends on the original brickwork which left the width of the roadway unchanged.

The roundabout today doesn't get any prettier
The roundabout was part of Brighton bypass scheme completed in 1995. Before then the A23 crossover from Mill Road to Vale Avenue was controlled by lights.

Thursday, 12 March 2020

Madeira Terraces restoration - architects appointed

BHCC have awarded the contract for the architects that will lead the design team for the first phase of restoration to Purcell Architecture Ltd.

Purcell are known for their experience of restoring heritage sites and incorporating environmental sustainability into their designs.

They also have extensive experience with heritage architecture and cast-iron structures, with a good understanding of the challenges involved in bringing sustainable practices to a heritage restoration project.

Their portfolio of restoration work includes major heritage sites, such as the Houses of Parliament, the Elizabeth Tower (the tower that hosts the bell Big Ben) and Canterbury Cathedral.

Read on.

Sunday, 8 March 2020

Progress at All Saints, Patcham.


Through the scaffolding it is already possible to get some idea of how All Saints will look stripped of its modern drab rendering. The rough flint walling is being flush pointed, and the brick quoins repaired. 

Old Patcham, which was a prosperous farming village when Brighthelmstone was still a poor fishing hamlet will soon be able to view its parish church in something like the state its medieval builders left it. 

The Shakespeare's Head - then & now

1 Spring Street
The Shakespeare's Head was built in the 1830s as part of the development of Spring Street which had started in the late 1820s. It was sited on the southern corner of Hampton Street on the back plot to 157 Western Road which later became part of Boots the Chemists. Boots originally occupied 157 to 162 Western Road to the west of Spring Street. The photo shows the Shakespeare's Head in 1935 after most of the north side of Western Road between Hampton Place had been demolished for the Mitre House development. By then Boots had moved to purpose-built premises between Spring Street and Dean Street taking some of the street numbers with them.

The Shakespeare's Head was rebuilt in typical 1930s style retaining the corner entrance to the public bar and flourished for over 3 decades under landlord Sidney Berger. It closed about 10 years ago and two side entrances to other bars were replaced with windows. It now serves as the breakfast room of the Britannia Study Hotel in Mitre House.

In 2020
Today the only remaining hint to its history is in the coloured plaque of Shakespeare's head surmounting  the corner doorway.

See also - Spring Street - then & now
                 More on Spring Street shops

Saturday, 7 March 2020

Amon Henry Wilds' offices

84 Western Road

Brighton Street Directory for 1845

Brighton's famous Regency architect built the Western Pavilion for his own residence in 1828 and occupied offices conveniently close at 84 Western Road.  He was still there in 1846 but gone by 1850 when he retired to Shoreham.