Rottingdean

Village views: 1905 and 2009

By Christopher Wrapson

In the first photo taken in 1905, St Margaret’s Church seems to dominate that part of the village. Rudyard Kipling’s House, The Elms, is all but hidden by the trees to the left of the church. The great man would have preferred things, that way maybe?  However, his garden and grounds are clearly visible. 

North End House with its tower, Prospect Cottage and the old farm buildings at the bottom of Dean Court Road, are also left of the church. The large building on the right with all the chimneys, next to the village green is the Dene Hotel. Whiteways Lane top right, snakes its way across the Downs to open farm land and to the then fledgling Saltdean.    

Photo:Rottingdean view 1905

Rottingdean view 1905

From the private collection of Christoper Wrapson


The second photo was taken from the same location 104 years later in 2009. So what has changed? At first glance very little. From this view the trees and bushes seem to sympathetically screen most of the newer houses and buildings, the church itself  is sadly less prominent, which might be seen as a sign of the times.

Photo:Rottingdean view 2009

Rottingdean view 2009

From the private collection of Christoper Wrapson


The Elms is now clearly more visible, North End House and its tower appears to be the centre of things. The Dene, now a retirement home, is completely hidden by the large bushes in the foreground, and of course all the old farm buildings are long gone.    Whiteways Lane, the track to Saltdean, now passes through a wooded area and the roofs of Saltdean houses can be seen on the hilltop.

It would be nice to think that both views give the impression of a quiet sleepy village with not a motor vehicle to be seen, certainly that would be true in 1905. Sadly it is not true nowadays.

This page was added on 10/08/2009.
Comments about this page

That's the best Ood/new pics I've ever seen. Well done.

By Michael Player (11/08/2009)

Well done Chris. In 1905 the Dene Hotel would have been a private residence of the family of the future prime minister Stanley Baldwin I think. And Rudyard Kipling would have been living with a much more boring garden than it is now!

By Brian Barnard (21/08/2009)

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