Listed Buildings

Palmeira Mansions: Grade II*

By Jennifer Drury

Built in 1883-84

Architect H.J. Lanchester's twin blocks of four-storey Italianate houses, Palmeira Mansions, form the north side of Palmeira Square, and were built by Jabez Reynolds Senior in 1883-84. Palmeira Square was named after Sir Isaac Goldsmid who was also Baron Palmeira. Number 33, the end bay on the left, is remarkable for its extremely ornate interior. It has marble inlaid walls, stained glass, fittings in an array of styles such as Adamesque, Rococo, Moorish and others. It also has large areas of lincrusta (a deeply embossed wallcovering), all added by ink-company owner A.W. Mason after he bought the property in 1889.

Photo:Palmeira Mansions

Palmeira Mansions

Photo by Tony Mould: click on image to open a large version in a new window

Photo:Palmeira Mansions

Palmeira Mansions

Photo by Tony Mould: click on image to open a large version in a new window



Photo:Palmeira Mansions

Palmeira Mansions

Photo by Tony Mould: click on image to open a large version in a new window

Photo:Palmeira Mansions

Palmeira Mansions

Photo by Tony Mould: click on image to open a large version in a new window

Photo:Palmeira Mansions

Palmeira Mansions

Photo by Tony Mould: click on image to open a large version in a new window

Photo:Palmeira Mansions

Palmeira Mansions

Photo by Tony Mould: click on image to open a large version in a new window

Architectural details

The construction is stucco over brick, with shallow pitch slate roofs. There are four storeys plus attics. There is a central two-tier gable front with a three window frontage to each unit; the end bay right is canted. The building has twentieth century fenestration to the attic storey apart from the gable front. A central two-tier gabled centrepiece is surmounted by a segmental pediment with heraldic designs in the tympanum over the round-headed opening. The first floor has round-headed windows linked by continuous entablature with keystones, and a continuous cast-iron balustrade carried on rendered console brackets. The ground floor has Doric porches with rusticated columns and half-glazed doors with ornamental metal grills and fanlights.

This page was added on 17/05/2012.
Comments about this page

I visited No 33 during the Brighton Festival some years back. It was amazing, so I would really recommend it if it comes up again!

By Peter Groves (18/05/2012)

In fact, one block was built by Jabez Reynolds Senior and the other block was built, simultaneously, by his son Jabez Reynolds Junior. We don't know which one built which but they had a bit of an arrangement for borrowing whatever was needed by one from the other - as my grandfather Arthur James Reynolds, Jabez Reynolds junior's son, recalls in his memoirs. Many other buildings in Brighton and Hove were built by the Jabezes - Jabez Reynolds Senior built around 1,000 houses (some contract, some speculative and he'd be called a property developer these days) some of which are landmark buildings such as Palmeira Mansions and 16 houses in Palmeira Avenue plus Adelaide Mansions, Medina Terrace and houses in Medina Villas, 70 bedrooms, a billiard room and kitchen which form the back of the Grade II listed Norfolk Hotel (now called the Mercure) plus the Grade II listed workhouse which became Brighton General Hospital. Jabez Reynolds Junior built the Grade II* listed St Martin's Church on the Lewes Road - Brighton's biggest church - and other buildings which I have yet to discover.

By Joanna Biddolph (24/02/2013)

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