North Laine History

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Gardner Street

Gardner Street was developed by John Furner by 1805 on the site of his market garden. It runs between North Road and Church Street and is lined with small shops, with store rooms or flats above.

No 12 was formerly the Sussex Arms. It was erected as the Swan Downer School in 1816. The school was founded for the education of 20 or more poor girls. It moved to Windsor Street in 1859 and in the 1860s No 12 is listed as 'beer retailer'.

Beall's cork shop

No 51 was formerly Beall's Cork Shop, opened in 1883, the last such shop in the country when it closed on 1st October 1983. The shop's façade can now be seen in the Brighton Museum.

Bolton's egg shop

On 26th May 1984 another well-known shop, Bolton's Egg Shop, closed after nearly 100 years of trading. It opened first in Westbourne Gardens, Hove, in 1886 and then moved to Gardner Street in 1910.


Today Gardner Street shops offer amongst other items a range of cafés, pies, jewellery, newspapers, music, children's clothing, t-shirts, vegetarian shoes and the Komedia theatre.

Top left: Gardner Street just prior to development from 1808. Furner’s Gardens lie to the right of New Street, now Bond Street.

Top right: Gardner St today

Above left: Fabric Fair, the former Beall’s

Above right: Vegetarian Shoes, the former Swan Downer School