Bevendean

Photo:Bevendean in 1901

Bevendean in 1901

From the private collection of Sam Carroll

Photo:Bevendean in 2002

Bevendean in 2002

From the private collection of Sam Carroll

An introduction to the area

By Sam Carroll

I am quite passionate about this area. It is always underestimated. The run-down shops and boarded-up pub are more immediately noticeable than the surrounding countryside and the incredible sunsets and sea views.

Bevendean is a small estate situated between Woodingdean, the Racecourse and Moulsecoomb. It is divided in name between the area on the hill closer to Moulescoomb (Upper Bevendean) and the area that is only reached by road via 'The Avenue'; a cluster of houses in the valley that is surrounded by fields (Lower Bevendean).

Beautiful and accessible
Bevendean is a post-war council estate and private development as can be identified by the style of houses. Many of the original inhabitants are still resident. A large proportion of the council houses are now privately owned, often by their original tenants or their families.

The countryside that surrounds the estate is beautiful and accessible. The two riding stables and the Bevendean Farm on one side of the valley provide idyllic images of grazing animals and on the other side the untamed terrain of Hogtrough Bottom and its varied wildlife creates a haven for berry-pickers, dog walkers and birdwatchers alike.

Spectacular views
From the top of the hill overlooking Bevendean there are spectacular views of Brighton with the sea in the background and on a clear day it is possible to see the Isle of Wight in the distance. It is on the very edge of the City and benefits from both easy access into the centre and also the feeling of rural solitude.

This page was added on 22/03/2006.
Comments about this page
I live in Higher Bevendean, which seems to be heavily overlooked in many instances. Whenever I describe where I live many people dismiss it as Moulescombe. It is not. I have been here for over seven years and am very passionate about the place. My back windows overlook a picturesque hill which was once the home to an Iron Age Hill Fort (now Moulescombe Green Park). I have spent endless hours thumbing through local library archives to try and get some background history on this fortified village, but to no avail. I cannot even find any records of formal digs there and have even been onto Time Team about it. Can anyone give me some background on this historical site?
By Adrian J. Andrews (24/04/2006)

I live in lower Bevendean, and the previously mentioned 'boarded up pub' is gone and they are now building some new apartments. But, yeah, there may be one or two run down pubs...

By Pollie D. (30/01/2007)

I lived in Lower Bevendean, from the age of 3 until I got married in 1977. My parents moved away from Bevendean after living there for forty years in 1998, (the house being to large for them.) I enjoyed many happy summers playing in the surounding fields, and later using the pub, which has now made way for flats. My husband lived in Lower Bevendean since he was born. A few months ago we drove around Bevendean. The woods between the shops and Norwich Drive have over grown. I suppose no one ever walks through there anymore! My friends and I spent all our summers swinging in the trees, and trying to ride our bikes over bumps, also picking the blackberries which grew in abundance. I don't really know much about Lower Bevendean even though I spent my childhood there. I can remember the little old farm house which used to be in the middle of the green next to the school, that to was pulled down and made way for a children's play area in the 70s. But apart from a some areas being overgrown and a few new biuldings, Lower Bevendean still looks as it did when I was young.

By S. Middleton nee Bennett (13/02/2007)

You lived on the corner of Norwich Close, I lived behind you, in Norwich Close.

By Ken Chick (10/08/2008)

Lived in lower Bevendean for a month and a half. It was all pretty lovely at first, and the people in the immediate area seem very nice... then term time began. Two counts of vandalism and two lots of kids ringing my doorbell and running away later and I'm really starting to bitterly regret the move.

By Rachel (25/09/2008)

Hi, I lived at 16 Bamford Close, Lower Bevendean in the 60s and moved to London in 1970.
Reading your comments on the area brings back many great memories. I too used to swing in the woods from the trees, you went that far out you would land in the road if you fell off. I remember the pub I used to buy arrow root biscuits from, the off licence, fish and chips, spuds from the green grocer with half a tonne of mud on them. It was a long walk from Bamford Close to the shops. I also went to Bevendean School, and got my 10 yards swimming cert, the water was always freezing. Any one remember Malcomn Berry or his sister Annett, or Kevin Ide? What happy days. I had the best of both worlds, countryside and the sea side. I am moving to Ireland in January 09, so I will be having a long, slow tour round the old place.

By Andrew Kedziora (Andy) (05/12/2008)

Hi, I lived at 9 Bamford Close, from 1960 till 1996. Loved every thing about living there. any one remember me?

By Lindsay Branche nee Osborn (02/04/2009)

Hi Lindsay, yes I remember you. You were the 2nd house from the end, opposite me. I lived in the very end house with my two brothers Anthony and Allen. Our garden was like a park, with swings, slide etc. Didn't a dentist live at your house before you did, cos we were always finding teeth in your back garden? The Curley family lived two doors away from me. Martin lived next door. It's going back a long time, but the memories are still there. Please email me if you wish.

By Andrew R Kedziora (05/04/2009)

There were lots of teeth there. Still in contact with the Waite family next door. Do you remember them?  I remember loads of days playing in your garden, we were only small.

By Lindsay Branche (26/05/2009)

It only seems like yesterday.  Most times when I go to Brighton, I go and have a look at the old place. You can always email me if you wish: andrew_r_kedziora@tiscali.co.uk

By Andrew R Kedziora (02/06/2009)

The name is Moulsecoomb not Moulescoomb - check on Google/Primary School or even the roadsign for Moulsecoomb Way.

By Vernon Page (16/05/2010)

I was born in Norwich Drive and lived in Bevendean for fifty years until my mother passed away. I had great times growing up in Bevendean. I still go up sometimes to have a look.

By Greg Grant (15/02/2011)

I too was born in Norwich Drive & S Middleton you & I were very good friends & would go out drinking together. I was born at no:17 & lived there until 1975 when I moved to essex for 10 years, but have been back in Bevendean since 1985 & now live in Kenilworth Close and have done for 20 years. I have loads of happy memories of this estate from swinging through the woods on homemade swings to sliding down the hills on cardboard. There is no place quite like this estate.

By Angie Darkin (06/10/2011)

I lived in Coombe Rd and a chum of mine lived in Baden Rd. One day his mum and two sisters took me over to Bevendean blackberrying. We walked over to the valley that was just up from the farm. Going from bush to bush I came across a black egg shaped iron ball with a yellow band around it. His mum grabbed me and we all rushed home. It was a German mine which the army later blew up.

By Viv Webb (14/09/2012)

I lived in Lower Bevendean during my childhood. My family moved there in 1948 when Norwich Drive only went up as far as Knepp Close. I have many happy memories of the area and still enjoy regular visits. I lived at 7 Norwich Drive, anyone remember me?

By Bob Wakelin (31/01/2013)

I lived at 98 Norwich Drive from 1950 till 1963 then moved to 53 Auckland Drive where my sister still lives.

By Roger Jarvis (19/04/2013)

I also lived in Norwich Drive from 1950 to1963 at No 173 just before the bend where it turned into Bodiam Avenue. There are a few names here I recognise, I remember you Roger and also you Bob although you were both a year older than me. I also remember your younger brother Barry, also Ken Chick. Greg Grant, I don't remember you but did you have an older sister called Manuela? Happy carefree childhood, no money but no worries either.

By Alan Coulton (09/06/2013)

I also lived in Norwich Drive - number 135 -+ and remember some of these names but most of all Bob Booth, as my Nan Lil was his foster mother. My sister Christine and myself still live in Brighton.

By Steve Capp (14/10/2013)

Dear Libby
Sorry but we have had to delete your post. We are no longer allowing the posting of requests to find third parties, as sharing information like this breaches their privacy. We recommend you try social media websites if you want to track old friends or neighbours.
Comments Editor

By Libby Davison (25/10/2013)

We lived opposite the school in Heathill Avenue. Dianne, Susan, Carol and Linda Hampson, and my brother Kevin with my parents moved in the house when it was new and lived there until they both sadly passed away. I remember Bevendean big boys having a hut on the field. I used to invade it and sing to them.

By Linda Hampson (26/10/2014)

Hi, my name is Shaun Turner.  I was born in Lower Bevendean and I was also known as Fred. My family lived there from 1950 to 1990. I was the youngest of six brothers and three sisters. I just heard that Brian Ralf has died recently - I knew Brian and his family when I lived in Bevendean. I would do shopping for his mum and dad and I also used to help him when he was with Dennis Holden, a Labour councillor.  I am sure any body that knew them will say they will be sadly missed.

By Shaun Turner (19/04/2015)

I also used to live at 126 Norwich Drive, 1954 - 1969. I'm still in contact with Brenda Rowlands, Maureen Tuppen and Lorraine Robson. My husband and I are very good friends with Roy Mold and his wife Jacky. Bevendean has always given me very happy memories. I still live in the area (Jevington Drive). It's very sad that Brian Ralfe has passed away, he was always very supportive of Bevendean reunions.

By Brenda Rogers (nee George) (11/09/2015)

I used to live in Heath Hill avenue 1946-1958 and attended Moulsecoomb school 1946-1951. I am still in touch with Johnny Wakelin who lived at 7 Norwich Drive with two brothers and a sister. Anyone remember us?, if so would welcome any contact. Thanks and look forward to hearing from you.

By Maurice Springgay (08/10/2015)

I was born and raised at 164 Norwich Drive, the last house in the bend. What great times we had growing up and playing in the fields especially when the corn was cut. I remember our neighbours the Teagues then the Baldwins and the Sturmeys. If anyone knows me get in contact!  davidbatchelor58@hotmail.co.uk

By Dave Batchelor (12/03/2016)

I was born in Heathhill Ave and lived next to the Hummells, I was very young at the time as born in 1955, but my brother Mike was a little older.

By Roger Heath (31/08/2017)

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