New Road

Photo:Click the map for a full-sized version.  New Road / Promenade Grove C.1803

Click the map for a full-sized version. New Road / Promenade Grove C.1803

Map copied from the book, Brighton in the Olden Times, Published in 1892 by J. G. Bishop "Herald Office" - Copy owned by Mrs D. Green

Promenade Grove: Brighton's first pleasure garden

By Peter Groves

The 1803 map of East Street / Bond Street area shows Promenade Grove just prior to New Road being built in 1805. Promenade Grove was the first pleasure gardens in Brighton, and opened on 13th July 1793.  The grounds of the Grove were tastefully laid out with flowers, shrubs and elms.

For the amusement of the gentry
The purpose of the Grove was "For the Amusement of the Nobility and Gentry".  The Grove was perfectly level and always kept nicely mown, smooth and velvety, like the pile of a Turkish carpet.  The land was originally a farm meadow, known as Dairy Field. The Grove was open to subscribing members, at one half guinea (£0.52) and to non-members, upon introduction by a member, at one shilling a day (£0.05)

The Prince Regent
By the early 1800's H.R.H. Prince Regent wished to form an enclosed estate around the Pavilion, and went about purchasing land, some of which he already leased, near to the Pavilion.  In 1802 H.R.H. purchased Promenade Grove from the wife of the emanate doctor Sir Lucas Peyps Bart, who was related to Dr. Richard Russell.

Plans to enclose the Pavilion
Originally East Street, as can be seen from the 1803 map, passed close by to the Pavilion, and prevented enclosure.  In 1803 H.R.H. proposed to the inhabitants of the town his plans for enclosure of the Pavilion. Additionally he proposed a "New Road" as compensation, which was agreed at a meeting of landholders, householders and inhabitants, held at the Castle Tavern on 25th August 1803.

Purchased from Nathaniel Kemp
H.R.H. had been the lessee of Dairy Field since 1795 and in 1803 he purchased it from Nathaniel Kemp for £4,200.  On the 1st May 1806 the land called Quakers Croft, adjacent to Promenade Grove was also purchased by H.R.H. for £800.  It was also at this time that H.R.H purchased Furner's Garden from John and Thomas Furner.

New Road was laid out in 1805 and was developed in the following years, The Theatre Royal being completed in 1807.

This page was added on 03/11/2007.

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