Woodingdean memories

The House that stood on the hill

By Christopher Wrapson

 
Photo:Warren House

Warren House

Image reproduced with kind permission of The Regency Society and The James Gray Collection

Built in the 1920s

Do you remember 'Warren House' pictured here in 1967? The house dates from the mid 1920s and is said to be one of the earliest houses built in the downland village of Woodingdean in a pleasing mock tudor design typical of that period. For several years before development in the area, this substantially built house stood alone at the very top of Warren Hill. The owners/occupiers would have enjoyed spectacular views of the South Downs, the valley down to Ovingdean and the distant English Channel.  

Do you remember 'Warren House'? If you know any of its history, post a comment below    

A slightly scary place                                                     

I grew up in that part of Woodingdean in the 1940s-50s. For us youngsters "The Big House" was a slightly scary place surrounded as it was by eight foot high flint walls and very tall Pine trees. Whenever my parents walked past the house they would sing that lovely old Peggy Lee song 'The Folks that live on the Hill'. Sadly this substantially built house with its attractive gardens existed for barely four decades, therefore very little history is known or of its owners. The house was demolished in the late 1960s to make way for what is now known as Warren Close. Looking at the area now and this superb photo surely someone made a huge mistake.                                  

This page was added on 09/04/2016.
Comments about this page

Many thanks Caroline Hayes for your comment on the other Woodingdean page which I enjoyed reading. It's great to know you remember my Father from all those years ago. (He passed away in 1978). Back in the 1950s Jack was well known for his piano playing in the village and the pubs, social clubs etc in Brighton and would often play at the Downs Hotel - the landlord at that time was his good friend Tom Chilton. I don't think Dad was ever paid for his services but there would always be a line up of full pint mugs on top of the piano. One particular memory I have of his piano playing antics was a local talent show in the Woodingdean Church Hall circa 1956/57. Dad accompanied the various acts on the piano and during the interval we persuaded him to play "Rock around the Clock" - at that time this record by "Bill Haley" was top of the hit parade. The younger members of the audience loved it and many of the Mums and Dads were jiving around the hall.  This new 'Rock-n-Roll' craze was all good fun. However, I don't think the vicars wife or the older Woodingdean folk present were that impressed.       

By Chris Wrapson (13/04/2016)

Absolute sacrilege to pull down houses like this. Once done they are gone forever and the like are never rebuilt - instead we get rows of rabbit hutches. Shame.

By Cheryl Felix (08/02/2017)

The existence of "Warren House" appears to be a mystery. The house was built in 1927 before that area of Woodingdean adjacent to Brighton Racecourse became developed. I have read the Rottingdean/Woodingdean section of Kelly's directory (1934) but couldn't find Warren House. Perhaps one of the reasons the neighbouring streets Holtview Road and Hillview Road were not built until the mid 1930s. According to The Streets of Brighton & Hove, house numbering in that area did not commence until 1948. It would be good to know more of the history of that interesting old house, albeit short lived.   

By Chris Wrapson (10/02/2017)

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