Wild Park

Greycott Kennnels

By Matt Pope

Exploring in the 1970s

As a child, in the late 1970's and early 1980's we'd explore the scrubby woodland to the south of Wild Park with my father. Later on I'd do the same as a teenager with friends. One of the places we would always try to find in those woods, was the ruin of a pig sty, which I remember as a series of low concrete pens (maybe five or six), long since unroofed.  Close by, but harder to find, was the remains of a cellar, with an angled concrete opening and maybe some rotten wooden steps leading down into a room about 4x4m, my memory is very hazy.  

A very ramshackle place

Both the sty and cellar were located just to the north of the kennels, which was a place we tended to give a wide berth as it seemed so ramshackle and because the sound of so many howling and barking dogs was quite unnerving. Finding the pig sty and cellar was always a hit or miss affair and I never quite pinned down in my mind where they were.

Does anyone remember the place, the pig sty and what the cellar was part of?

Failed to find them

Yesterday I took my youngest daughter into the woods to try and find them and completely failed.  The Kennels are now a self build community and their perimeter fence might actually now encompass where the pig sty lies. A bit of map regression in the evening shows the pig sty on a 1950's map and it's possible to actually see the pig sty on Google earth imagery. The map names the place as Greycott kennels. Does anyone have any memories of the place, the pig sty and what the cellar was part of?

This page was added on 03/10/2015.
Comments about this page

This area of Wild Park had a few examples of 'plotlands' or 'track and shack' developments. These were informal settlements that developed largely between the wars on the urban fringe, on marginal land usually unsuitable for either agriculture or mainstream building developments. In the 1950s there were a few left on Wild Park and at least one burnt down about 1957, as they were often wooden structures. A few years ago I had a job delivering Thompson brochures (someone had to...) and found the settlement at the back of Home Farm Road surrounded by a high fence and with ferocious barking dogs. I think I missed a delivery that day! They are just visible from across the valley from Moulsecoomb.

By Geoffrey Mead (04/10/2015)

Thank you Geoff, if anyone would know it would be you!

We could trace an old track way and some collapsed services behind the old kennels plot. The collapsed inspection cover shows that something up there was plumbed into the sewer system.

A great example of nature eating back into the urban fringe and just how ragged Brighton's boundary is.

By Matt Pope (05/10/2015)

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