Greys, Southover Street

Notes and queries- formerly Hanover Arms

Query: From John Billings
Posted on
our messageboard on 23-05-04

Can anyone provide information on the Hanover Arms hotel, Brighton, especially around 1844? I would also like to know if there are any modern-day photographs of the hotel.

Response 1

I think the Hanover Arms was what is now the Greys in Southover Street on the corner of Newhaven Street. There's a photos of it in around 1910 on the back cover of the book "Hilly Laine to Hanover".
From Jan Hill
Posted on our messageboard on 23-05-04

Response 2

There is a circa 1910 photo on this website under Southover Street. Rebecca WORMALD was the proprietor in both the 1881 and 1891 Census, she is on a distant branch of my family tree. I have a few more detials on her and her family if this is of interest.
From Melissa Zimmerman
Posted on our messageboard on 24-05-04

Response 3

I am fairly sure the pub you mention was not in the same location before the mid 1850's. To the best of my knowledge, this is a potted history of the pub.
Sometime around 1822 James IRELAND purchased from Thomas KEMP 10 acres of "The Level" between Union Road and Trinity Street. This was opened in 1823 as a public garden, but was best known as a Cricket Ground. The Hanover Arms stood in the South Eastern corner of the grounds, in Lewes Road. James IRELAND appears to have had an interest in a number of local public houses at that time and his interest in the Hanover Arms can be seen in Pigot's directory as the following entry shows:- Ireland James Tavern (Hanover Arms & Royal Cricket Grounds) Lewes Road 696 Pigot 1828

However, the venture was not a financial success and IRELAND sold them on to a Mr. Pierpoint. Shortly after this time the pub was taken over by George BROWN as follows:-

Brown Geo. Tavern (Hanover Arms) Lewes Road 1020 Pigot 1832 Brown George Tavern (Hanover Arms) Lewes Road 674 Pigot 1840

It is said that these were the first county cricket grounds in England. Sussex County Cricket club played their first matches on the grounds, which were then known as "Hanover Grounds" or "Box's Ground" from the late 1830's onwards. The following listing indicates why:-

Box Thomas Tavern (Hanover Arms) Lewes Road 631 Kelly 1845

Mssrs. Harvey and Box had no better financial success and last cricket match was played in September 1847. The area was sold off and developed with small terraced houses from the 1850's to the turn of the century.

From the mid 1850's another public house with the name "Hanover Arms" appears as a result of the development of Southover Street. The following directory entries indicate the occupancy:- (Note: the change in number is consistent with a renumbering of the properties in Southover Street.

Clayton George Henry Tavern (Hanover Arms) 71 Southover Street 229 Taylor 1854
Bowles George Tavern (Hanover Arms Inn) 71 Southover Street 25 Melville 1858
Bowles George Tavern (Hanover Arms) 71 Southover Street 1463 Kelly 1859
Webb Richard Tavern (Hanover Arms Inn) 115 Southover Street 1992 Kelly 1867

There are three engravings of "Ireland's Royal Brighton Gardens" by George Hunt (c.1827), R.W.Silvester (c. 1828) and G.H.Phillips (1849). The Hanover Arms is shown on both of the latter prints, albeit not in any great detail.

From Andy Grant

Sent to website by e-mail on 27-05-04
This page was added on 22/03/2006.
Comments about this page

The Hanover Arms did not become The Greys, The Greys used to be called the Bricklayers Arms I think.  The Hanover Arms was on the left hand side of Southover Street as you go down the hill, just after the turning into Newhaven Street.

By James Hewland (19/06/2008)

The Greyhound public house was on the top corner of Lewes Street, number 104 - now a private dwelling. The Bricklayers Arms (The Greys) is 105 on the lower corner of Lewes Street and the Hanover Arms was number 110 situated on the lower corner of Newhaven Street. That pub and The Fox (113) was demolished for Tamplins Brewery which itself was demolished to make way for the students' residences.

By Alan J Piatt (22/02/2009)

I have a photo of the Hanover arms taken in the early 1900s looking down Southover St showing the Hanover Arms, the name above the door and on the sign board is H Packham, that is Harry Packham (born Henry) my great grandfather. From stories told to me by my grandfather Arthur Packham, Harry Packham was a prize fighter up on the Racehill but I have no info on this.

By Ralph L Packham (22/02/2009)

Yes, the Greys used to be called the Bricklayers (which was a pretty rough pub). I remember being at the opening of the Greys about 1983 with a fair number of the Bricklayers' clients in attendance. I seem to recall every one of them had something - eye, leg, marbles etc - missing.

By Peter Owen (12/11/2009)

I was a local and used to drink in the 'Bricky'. I think there was only one person with something missing in the pub; Vic Chapman's eyelid was damaged and stayed shut. He thought it made him look hard so he never had anything done about it. He was a very nice bloke, as were most of the people in the pub. They had sing songs most weekends and it was a great place to be. Alan Grey took over the pub, and changed its name to The Greys. He used to have the London Unity as well. He took that over from Jack and Beryl. I used to work for all of them - we had some great times.

By Trevor Jackman (30/12/2009)

The picture on the cover of "Hilly Laine to Hanover" actually shows the street one road further down than the Greys/Geese junction, and what was then the Hanover Arms is now the University of Brighton Student Halls of residence.

By Claudia Lester (26/05/2011)

The Hanover Arms was located at the end of Union Road by Park Crescent, originally in the Irelands Gardens (which is now Park Crescent Gardens).

By Carol Homewood (25/03/2013)

Interesting to see all these comments about pubs in Southover Street area. I married the daughter of William Gardner, landlord of the Bricklayers Arms. My father in law had the pub from 1934 until November 1952. The pub is now called The Greys. The opposite corner of Lewes St was situated The Greyhound the landlord being a Mr Huggett and the opposite side of Southover St was The Golden Cross. The Hanover also in Southover St was on the lower corner of Newhaven Street.

By Ted Janes (25/05/2013)

I think Peter Owen is getting his facts wrong. My husband and I, and family, used the Bricklayers Arms in Southover Street for about 10 years or more. We played darts for them and used the pub regular and never ever saw any trouble in there. The people that went there were a nice crowd. 

By kathleen catt (27/05/2013)

My Great Uncle was the Landlord of Hanover Arms in 1938 - 1944.

By Deborah Whatford (08/09/2017)

Hi Trevor, I well recall Jack and Beryl at the Unity, together with their very beautiful daughter who's name escapes me right now - well it was, after all, between thirty five and forty years of drinking ago! Dave

By Dave White (09/12/2017)

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.