Thursday, 20 January 2022

Wykeham Terrace

 

Brighton is best-known for The Royal Pavilion, The Palace Pier, and possibly The Lanes, but there are many lesser known delights that are worthy of a mention.

This lovely old terrace of 12 'Alms Houses' is at the bottom of the path leading down from our church, about 250 metres from chez nous.

They were reputedly built to house local 'Ladies of the Night', and at one stage were named 'St Mary's Home for Female Penitents'. The ladies were trained to become domestic servants, and of course to 'behave themselves'. These days they are extremely desirable freehold properties.


I apologise for my awful photo. In reality it's much longer in each direction than the picture suggests. The gate was closed; I couldn't take a better one!

The terrace is always beautifully maintained, which I imagine must be contracted into each house ownership. As far back as I can remember they have always been painted in grey with white detailing.

The terrace was built in 1830 in this lovely Strawberry Hill, Tudor/Gothic style; whereas most of Brighton is either Georgian Victorian or Edwardian.


Dame Flora Robson lived there, and I do remember saying a regular 'mornin squire' to Sir Roy Strong when he was in residence. I've also been told that singer Adam Faith lived there, but there's no plaque to confirm. I haven't yet seen a familiar face there since our return.

Very 'grown-up' accommodation. They don't come on the market very often, but who would blame someone quitting Central London, and swapping it for one of these.

Below is how it looked in 1850; complete with part of St Nicholas churchyard.


24 comments:

  1. Though there are many fascinating groups of alms houses around this country, Wykeham Terrace does indeed seem special.

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    1. And they were usually built to look beautiful, rather than utilitarian.

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  2. Our alms houses are rather modest in comparison. The ones I am thinking of were for Jewish people. The Brighton ones must be of a very decent size to be desirable residences.

    I think I might have had an Adam Faith poster on my wall when I was young.

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    1. Faith became a 'Financial Adviser' later in life, and lost lots of money for several well known celebs. He died owing £Millions.

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  3. They are beautiful …. I could live in one ! ….. and, Strawberry Hill house is one of my favourite houses to visit. XXXx

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    1. Me too, but they're quite pricey! It's amazing how much influence Strawberry Hill House had.

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  4. Almshouses always seem to have been built with a level of charm and appeal but those are indeed very special.

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    Replies
    1. They probably say more about the benefactor, than the residents.

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  5. Seeing them through the fence makes an interesting image

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    Replies
    1. I probably should have taken a picture from Google Images; they have far better ones.

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    2. It depends upon what you are looking for. Without the railings maybe, but not necessarily better!

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  6. I can't tell you how many times I have cut though the church yard and walked past these houses on my way to town. I also remember a school trip to look at the graves, in particularly the one of Martha Gunn the Brighton Dipper.
    But in my 75 years living in Brighton I have never been inside the church, I must go before I pop my clogs. lol
    Briony
    x

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    1. We went before Christmas to the Carols and lessons service. It was very pleasant. I'm not a church-goer, but I do like a good sing-song.

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  7. What's happened to The Lanes, Cro. The antique shops have up and left?

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    Replies
    1. Caf├ęs and restaurants have taken over. Most of those wonderful old antique shops have now gone.

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  8. What beautiful architecture! I must see if I can find out a bit more of their history via Google. I really do love the soft grey exteriors.

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    1. It exudes a wonderful atmosphere. Very relaxing.

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  9. The alms houses are lovely. I'd love to see inside of them. I spent my early years in Nova Scotia when a few poor farms were still in existence. They share some similarities with the concept of alms houses. One was located a short walk from my house on a road called, (believe it or not), "Poor Farm Rd". As a child, I used to think these "poor" people were lucky to spend their final years on a farm. It makes me sad to think about them now and the stigma they must have endured.

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    1. I have never been inside, not have I seen any interior photos. However, I imagine they would all be beautifully furnished and decorated.

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  10. I have friends who used to live in Brighton - I have pointed them in the direction of this post Cro.

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    1. If they lived centrally, I'm sure they would know them.

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  11. These homes are very stately and beautiful. Anyone that chooses to do a tour, google Wykeham Terrace and several interior tours are provided.

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    1. I suspect that many of them may be 'weekend homes'; there is very little activity there, and many curtains permanently closed.

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  12. It is a very lovely building.

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