Mystery photos of Brighton and Hove

A street in Hove?

By David Ransom

This image is from a small collection of old photographs by a Hove photographer named Wiles. If anyone has information on him and his work I would be very interested. Is this a street in Hove - please leave a comment below if you can help.

Photo:Mystery street, possibly in Hove?

Mystery street, possibly in Hove?

From the private collection of David Ransom

Local resident Alan Hobden kindly photographed Osborne Villas for us and sent this note:
If you look closely at your old photo, you will see two very tall chimney pots on the roof of the pair immediately to the left of the lamp-post.
The first photo shows the same first house, No.10, on the extreme left as in the original photo. Its facade has been extensively modified. Note the three very tall chimney pots above the pair (16 and 18) immediately to the left of the lamp-post. The front one, which has a cowl on it, has probably been added as it is darker than the other two.
The second photo, shows the first house in the row, No.4, and of course the road name to verify the location.   I also looked at Medina Villas but, although there are a few properties with canopies, none of them match the appearance of the villas in the old photo
.

Photo:Osborne Villas

Osborne Villas

Photo by Alan Hobden

Photo:Osborne Villas

Osborne Villas

Photo by Alan Hobden

This page was added on 25/07/2008.
Comments about this page

I don't think it is Clifton Terrace in Brighton, for I recall that as all terraced housing, whilst this is a row of upmarket semi detached. However, the style and therefore I presume the period (about 1845) seems to be identical, so perhaps a look at local upmarket new build around that year might help towards finding the identity of the actual location.

By Roy Grant (28/07/2008)

It looks very much like the type of housing in Medina and Osborne Villas.

By Andy Grant (29/07/2008)

I think this may be Osborne Villas in Hove. The pairs of houses there have the same distinctive canopied bays on the ground floor, and the same walls and railings at the front boundary. Also, the road pictured is long and flat, like many of the roads leading down to Hove seafront, and the lamp-posts are (irritatingly!) close to the kerb!

By Alan Hobden (29/07/2008)

I don't think this is Clifton Terrace as there are several steps down from the pavement to the carriageway there and the front gardens are quite large there. I think this is Medina Terrace in Hove, although the houses have now lost all their original front railings and many have lost their canopies.

By Geoff Bennett (29/07/2008)

David, having taken a look at the current view in this road, I'm convinced the photo shows part of the western side of Osborne Villas in Hove, at its southern end near the Kingsway (A259 coast road). The pairs of elegant villas are numbered from 4 to 34 (evens only), and the lamp-post is still there outside Number 10, although its lamp has, not surprisingly, been replaced by a modern one. Many of the original canopies are still intact. Next to No.4 now stands the Sussex pub. In the photo you can just make out the handrails either side of the steps leading up to the front doors. These houses are actually on three floors, but the basements cannot be seen in this photo.

By Alan Hobden (29/07/2008)

I don't think this is in Hove, despite the possible local connection. I do not recollect such a uniform development of semi- detached villas in the area of Hove which would have had like designed period features. The road appears to be on level ground which rules out most of Brighton.

By Garry Peltzer Dunn (29/07/2008)

If you Google: 'Osborne Villas Hamptons' you will find that one of these properties is for sale through the agent Hamptons, and there is a good colour photograph of the property and its neighbour. Both still have their canopies and the railings can clearly be seen, along with all the other architectural details on the buildings themselves, which match those in the old photograph.

By Alan Hobden (29/07/2008)

I think you are right, it looks like the houses to me.

By Maralyn (29/07/2008)

Great photos! It's definitely Osborne Villas - I live there!

By Robert Stuart Nemeth (30/07/2008)

Well done for the photos Alan. The details of the houses match perfectly; note the features on the cills, the lintels, the pattern of the mock stone corners, etc. Over the hundred years or so between the photos it is almost certain that the canopy roofs would have been replaced, and there would probably be few craftsmen who would provide an exact copy of what had previously been there. So small differences are entirely expected. Quite definitely Osborne Villas.

By Andy Grant (30/07/2008)

Thank you so much to everyone who has taken the time to comment on my photograph. It is nice to know where it actually is. I bought the photograph on eBay recently where the vendor said "I think the area is Openshaw, Manchester but not certain. The photograph was taken by George A. Wiles or Thomas Walter Wiles of 33 George Street, Hove, Sussex 1905-1910+". I am forming a small collection of photographs by Wiles of Hove and hope to show more on this site soon. Even though the photograph is a bit tatty, I think I found a bargain at £3.00 including delivery!

By David Ransom (01/08/2008)

Incredible photo, wonderful to see how Osborne Villas looked way back when. You can just make out the northern section of the street where the houses are terraced. Wonderful!

By Dan (06/04/2013)

I wonder if David Ransom is connected to George or Warren? If so, I would love to hear from you please. My grandparents were named Ransom.

By Sandra Bohtlingk nee Baldwin (07/04/2013)

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