Marine Parade

The Albemarle Hotel: then and now

By Jennifer Drury

5, 6 and 7 Marine Parade, between Steine Street and Manchester Street, for many years known as the Albermarle Hotel. It was founded at No.7 during the 1850s and is listed at such in Folthorpe’s Brighton Directory of 1859. For many years the other two premises were lodging houses, but they were absorbed into the Abermarle in the 1890s.

When the property was sold for redevelopment, Brighton Corporation consulted the Regency Society as No.7 had been listed by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government as a building of Special Architectural Interest. It was not felt that the quality of the building was good enough to justify opposition to its demolition. 

Eventually the property was demolished in the 1960s and the eight storey block which stands on the site today was completed in 1970. Comparing the original with the present day eyesore, perhaps they got their decision entirely wrong?

Photo:The Albemarle Hotel: undated

The Albemarle Hotel: undated

From the private collection of Douglas d'Enno

Photo:The Albemarle Hotel: photographed in 1958

The Albemarle Hotel: photographed in 1958

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

Photo:Photographed in 2012

Photographed in 2012

Photo by Tony Mould

This page was added on 25/07/2012.
Comments about this page

I’m sure the Regency Society didn’t expect such an unsympathetic structure to be build when it gave the nod for demolition; this building is as much out of place as Abbotts on Regency Square. If you include along the front, the Thistle Hotel, the Kingswest/Brighton Centre and the Holiday Inn, it shows how architects can get it so wrong. It’s amazing that on such prime frontage, town planners get hoodwinked into accepting such out of place buildings by architects who probably don’t even live in Brighton. Another prime example is the Royal Alexandra children’s hospital, a building that’s out of place, not fit for use and probably more suited to be used as a museum displaying contemporary art than a hospital.

By Michael Brittain (26/07/2012)

When you think of the cost of knocking the old building down, and putting up the new one, you would have thought that renovating the more elegant older building would have been a much better option. I hope the developers didn't receive any government or council financial assistance for this desecration?

By Stefan Bremner-Morris (26/07/2012)

Yes I think you are spot on Jennifer, they got the decision entirely wrong!

By Peter Groves (26/07/2012)

The Albermarle Hotel was probably founded by a Mrs Jane King and was listed as such from as early as 1840 (see Pigot's directory p670) until around 1856. However, the premises were built in the first quarter of the 19th century and had been used as a boarding house from much earlier than that time, predominantly run by women (Mrs Sharp from around 1831 until 1836 succeeded by the Misses Whichelo that year). As regards the demolition of the building, it just goes to show that the decision-makers were either philistines or gave greater credence to the whims of those with vested interests.

By Andy Grant (26/07/2012)

Another great building lost. I can remember this hotel when I was a child. So many lovely Brighton and Hove buildings lost to the so-called planners.

By Dennis Fielder (27/07/2012)

In my family tree, cousin Lucy Pooley married to Alfred Collins managed the "Albermarle" at the time of the 1901 census. How wonderful is history?

By Cathy Fairhurst (03/07/2013)

I was billeted in the Albemarle Hotel from March to August 1945, whilst serving in REME. Four of us shared the balcony room, shown in the photo just under the name Albemarle. VE-day was particularly memorable as was the opening of the beach just after, once German PoWs had cleared the mined beach.

By Dennis Goodwin (20/01/2016)

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