North Laine History
Gloucester Rd today might be considered the spine of the North Laine Conservation Area. Visitors who come in to the area down Gloucester Rd from Queen’s Rd, will see a mid-
As you walk down Gloucester Rd from Queen’s Rd, the Galeed Strict Baptist Chapel is on your left, a plain classical building that opened on October 15, 1868. The Pond, opposite, dates from 1908 and replaced an earlier building. The Post Office building you see is an extension added in 1937 and it was on this site that the first electricity in Brighton was generated from 1882 in what was known as Hammond’s Yard.
Kemp St dates from the late 1840s and 1850s, when much of this part of North Laine was developed to meet the needs of the newly arrived railway and the locomotive and carriage works established from 1848. No 52 Kemp St was where the body of Violet Kaye was discovered, after her murder by Tony Mancini in July 1934.
As you proceed down Gloucester Rd, on your right is Foundry St, a major centre of production in the c19th whilst Queen’s Gardens shows signs of Victorian gentrification with its attractive residential housing.
Upper Gardner St dates from the late 1820s although few original houses remain. The Central National Infants School originally dates from 1826 although it has been much changed.
Further down Gloucester Rd you will pass on your right Kensington Gardens, which was developed from 1808 and features original frontages at No 5 and Nos 7-
Robert St further down on your right is home to North Laine’s largest commercial building, the former Argus newspaper building – built in the 1890s and home to the Argus from c1915 to 1992.
The castellated building on the north side of Gloucester Rd was once The Eagle Foundry and from 1869 home to the Sussex Artillery Volunteers. Notice the flagpole still in place on the front wall.
At the bottom of Gloucester Rd are two pubs that date from the 1850s with their original names, although The Basketmakers, first run by Mr Knight , a basketmaker, opened up in 1854 as The Brokers Arms.
The Grain Store warehouse at No127 was formerly a ginger beer brewery run by Mr Dowling who owned the Gloucester Brewery, which was next door to The Eagle. By 1876 Mr William Wood of Hurstpierpoint, had taken over the building and converted it to a grain warehouse.