Street histories

What is a Street History?

Our street histories (listed below) allow us to see the connections between different families, themes and time periods. They include references to assist other researchers of Brighton & Hove history.

Each document focuses on one street and discusses its origins, development, changing architecture, materials and uses. It also considers the social and economic lives of its inhabitants over the years, including issues such as health, education, trades and living conditions. These themes are consistent across each street history, allowing one street to be compared with another.

Street histories have been produced for locations around the city, although our key research area is the North Laine district of Brighton. This allows us to follow the development of each street, from when it was first laid out on previously open fields (mostly 1820-1840), right through to around 1975.

Two photographs of the same building: one taken recently and showing a private residence, and one taken around 1900 showing a large group of men outside what was then a pub
What is today a private house was, in 1900, a pub at the heart of the community

How they are made?

Street Histories are derived from our study of census returns and street directories. These highlight the occupations, living conditions and length of tenure of the street's residents. We flesh these out with detailed primary history research at our local Record Office, Museum and online collections. Much of the source material is now housed at the city's archive centre, The Keep.

Who produced them?

The research and writing for each street history is the responsibility of one lead researcher. All are volunteers based at The Regency Town House and co-ordinated by Chris Nichols. The team supports one another in finding information, providing specialist input and editing.

​The production of street histories also owes thanks to numerous other volunteers, particularly in graphic design, web management and technical development. We also thank the North Laine residents whose effort, enthusiasm and generosity enabled us to stage street history exhibitions in the early days of this project.

Our gratitude goes also to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for grant aiding the initiative and to the staff at The Keep, East Sussex Record Office (ESRO) and the Royal Pavilion & Museums for their ongoing support of the project and permission to reproduce images held in their collections.

Popular and award-winning!

Local residents frequently ask for copies of the street histories or download them from the website. Many send us additional data for inclusion in future editions of the histories.

Nationally, we have received the Heritage Open Days 'Creative Minds' award, in large part for our innovative work extending the focus of the national Heritage Open Days programme.

Links to street histories

Charles Street (Listen to the audio introduction to this history)

Foundry Street (Listen to the audio introduction to this history)

Frederick Place

Gardner Street

Orange Row

Over Street

Pelham Square

Queen's Gardens

Robert Street

Sydney Street

Tidy Street

Trafalgar Street

Upper Gardner Street


Want to know more about how we made our street histories, see:

HitP - How to write a Street History from start to finish.docx

HitP - Detailed guidelines for writing a street history_6.docx

For more documentation about joining in with the Here in the Past project, see: Join in

Heritage Fund logo and link