Grand Avenue, Hove

Personal view

By John Knight, actively retired

Regency is not our only architectural delight. Look and be impressed by the terracotta mansions on Grand Avenue, each different from the other in detail but sharing features from the Tudor manor in porches and windows and the Gothic pile in items like twin dragons high up on one. Also from the Victorian era, admire the cleaned-yellow brick and brightened stonework of the houses in Denmark Villas. And there are many others.

Photo:Grand Avenue, Hove

Grand Avenue, Hove

This page was added on 22/03/2006.
Comments about this page
Congratulations on your piece. Could you extend it to include the three Victorian houses?
By Gwen Shaw (19/11/2003)
Grand Avenue has been the site of the worst vandalism in living memory. The west side from the seafront northwards used to have the best architechture anywhere. Houses built in their own sunken gardens and maintained to the highest standards. I did a paper round in this area in the late 50s and the toffs in these houses were most generous at Christmas time (with the Furze Croft residents a close second!).
By Vic Stevens (29/02/2004)
I used to be the postman of this road from 1970-1982. The houses that were left in their original state, were excellent. Number 2 was all chanderliers and polished brasswork. I believe Tommy Walls, the empresario of skating shows, lived there. Across the road in Grand Avenue Mansions lived Lord & Lady George Robey, old music hall stars. The last private house on the west side was Number 15, it was demolished to make way for Victoria Court. The area was full of noteries, lawyers, doctors and knights of the realm--all very cordial people, I came to know by name. Lady Robey helped me to get into my car when I left the keys in the ignition. She was so slim her arms were able to go through the gap in the window to release the door. A lovely lady, sister to the theatre producers Prince and Emile Littler.
By Bob Wells (06/04/2005)
Surely those lovely terracotta villas shown on this page are, in fact, in The Drive, Hove?
By Marjorie Burnell (19/06/2006)
Is anyone in possession of any photos of the west side of Grand Avenue, they seem to be very few and far between? Particularly looking for the area near the Queen Vic statue, house numbers 18/19.
By Rod Brain (10/08/2006)

I used to live in Demark Villas in the early fifties. The house had a hotel apartments behind it leading to The Drive. I was born at 77 The Drive 1946.

By Lesley (09/06/2007)

Does anyone have a photo of the Seeboard building (now the Council offices), including the large Seeboard garage that was immediately to the north, before the garage was demolished and the present extension built on the site of it sometime in the 70s? My dad worked at Seeboard for thirty-five years and, when I was about five (in 1953), he made me a fabulous model of the garage for all my Dinky toys, complete with lights, sliding door and removable roof! As a student in the mid-60s I worked as a labourer on several of the blocks of flats on the west side of Grand Avenue, including Victoria Court, during the summer holidays. Incidentally (with reference to Bob Well's comment above), there was still one remaining private house (Dorothy Norman's?) in existence on the west side at that time (the summer of '65), on the plot immediately to the north of Victoria Court. I remember the house mainly for the beautiful bright red and chrome Jaguar saloon parked outside. I now live in one of those blocks and have a copy of the original sales brochure, which describes Grand Avenue as 'the South Coast's most prestigious address'!  The promenade has changed scarcely at all in fifty years, since the metal railings and sea wall were built.

By Nick Rosewarne (19/10/2008)

As stated in a previous comment, this is indeed The Drive, Hove. I in fact have the priviledge of living in one of these beautiful mansion houses.

By P. Honeywood (24/03/2011)

Hi there, my boyfriend lives at 9 The Drive, and we recently found a beautiful old cabinet card of the house. I researched and found that a Henry and Isabella Lyme live at the house in 1881. I was wondering if anyone else knew any history on this house of the Drive in general? All I know is the occupants mentioned above had a servant called Ellen Crowhurst and another girl working there. Any information will be appreciated! Thanks!

By Tina Manahai (13/04/2011)

9 Grand Avenue, Hove BN3 2LF .The house was first occupied in 1910 by Mrs Eleanor Hodges. She was the widow of Henry Hodges of Bolney Court, Henley on Thames, whom she had married in Henley, in September 1867. She was born in 1848, the daughter of Septimus Palairet of The Grange, Bradford on Avon. This surname is mentioned as one of the ancient West Country families. He is noted in part for patronising a would-be rubber manufacturer, by assisting with the purchase of an old woollen mill for this purpose in Bradford on Avon. On 28th September, 19II, she married Captain the Honourable James Terence Fitzmaurice, who had himself been widowed in 1907 when his first wife died. She was Frances Rhoda Ousley, the daughter of Sir William Gore Ousley KCB. James Fitzmaurice was born on 26th. February I835, and was the 5th. Son of the 5th Earl of Orkney and served for 27 years in the navy. He had served in the Burmese war, and the Russian, and volunteered for the Crimean. He was a Lieutenant on the Valorous while the first Atlantic cable was being laid and received a gold medal from the New York Chamber of Commerce. In Ceylon from 1867-1870 he was Inspector General of Prisons, and eventually became a magistrate for Berkshire. On Thursday 2nd July 1913 the Hon. Mrs Fitzmaurice attended a garden Party at Furze Hill, in her landau driven by two chestnut horses. The carriage had been bought in 1907, and was claimed to be new but unsuitable for the purposes of the previous owner. As she returned from the party, she was accompanied by a Miss B Farman who also lived at 9 Grand Avenue. The groom, Thomas Tillman was on the box seat, and the horses were driven by a coachman named Edward Still, both of whom were in the employ of a Mr. Alien. At about 6.30, pm Mrs Fitzmaurice ordered the coachman to drive to 54 Wilbury Road, where both ladies remained for about 45 minutes. Their next stop was to be St. Aubyn's Mansions, and when turning the carriage around, the pole of the carriage snapped in two. One of the horse legs became entangled in the traces, and they could not be controlled by the reins. Both groom and coachman leapt for safety, apparently in attempt to control the horses by their heads, but the carriage turned over, the coachman was run over by one of the wheels, breaking three of his ribs, and the two ladies, thrown out onto their faces. Both ladies were taken home and Mrs. Fitzmaurace had received a wound to her temple and a cut under her chin. Her doctor was immediately called and though shaken she was still conscious. She was cared for by a nurse overnight, who reported to the Doctor that his patient had had convulsions. Several more followed, and she then became unconscious. It was decided that she might have a haemorrhage of the brain and that a relative needed to be contacted to give permission for an operation. Capt. Fitzmaurice was in Ireland, so her brother; Henry Hamilton Palairet was contacted in London and gave his consent. No haemorrhage was found, and no indication of any fracture to the head. It is to be hoped that she did not regain consciousness. At 3am. On Saturday 6th.July, she died aged 64.

By Stephen Turner (17/07/2011)

My grand father, Benjamin Mitchell died at 77 The Drive in 1947. His home address was 15 St Aubyns Hove at that time. I am researching his life so I would like to know if 77 The Drive, Hove was a nursing home in the mid 1940s. I visited Hove last week and was impressed by the beautiful mansion houses.

By Howard Mitchell (31/08/2011)

Hi Howard, 77, The Drive was the Sunnyside Nursing Home, run by Mrs. M.R. Sutton, SRN and Miss B.O. Noakes, SRN, RSCN. Regards, Andy

By Andy Grant (01/09/2011)

No 9, Grand Avenue was built by William Willett who also created British Summer Time clock changes. His great grandson is Coldplay singer Chris Martin who is married to actress Gwyneth Paltrow

By Stephen Turner (13/03/2014)

The picture shows the houses 73, 75 and 77 The Drive. I live in No 71. I wonder if anyone has any old photos/plans of these buildings? There is evidence of some architectural features to the exterior of the front windows etc that have been removed and railings etc. that would be good to put back if i knew what was there.The only history I know is that the architect was H B Measures and it was built 1887 by William Willett.  Whittingehame College was over the road in no 62, 64 and 66 - in 1931, founded by Jacob Halevy.

By Claire Taylor (15/04/2015)

I have recently moved into Victoria Court on Grand Avenue, I would like to acquire the original sales brochure or a copy of one if someone is able to source one. 

By Daniel (11/12/2016)

The place to find one if they have survived and been archived is The Keep at Falmer where B&H archives are stored.

By Geoffrey Mead (14/12/2016)

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