Rottingdean Through Time – Chapter 4

High Street (West)

Big Changes on West Street

It is hard to imagine a greater transformation than that on West Street on the preceding page. Here we have the same view in reverse, looking west from the High Street.

The doomed properties

At the back of the triangle have been replaced by the car park. The hunting stables to which the visitor is directed were run by Jeff Boreham, who was killed early in the First World War.

A Lost Parade

The sign for the stables is again seen here (far left). Behind it is the cottage whose south elevation can be seen so clearly in the view of the millennium procession from the crossroads.

The old view shows O’Connell’s fish shop and, next door, the Queen Victoria Inn, which lived on – in name at least – in a replacement public house of the mid-1930s across the street. Its Tudor-style frontage can be seen on page 25.

Golden Square

Tucked away behind West Street and the High Street stands Golden Square, much used today as a cut-through between West Street and Park Road. It once contained a row of four labourers’ cottages, demolished in the 1930s. Born in one of these was Joan Snudden, whose Uncle Charles was, for a time, landlord of the Queen Victoria Inn. She still lives nearby.

The old wash-house behind her was restored in 2002 as part of a joint project between Rottingdean Preservation Society and Rottingdean Parish Council.

Nevill Road/High Street

Some way up the High Street is the junction with Nevill Road. On the corner (right) of the small square is the Reading Room of 1885-86, later a club room. On the extreme left is the entrance to the long-vanished National Mixed School of 1860.

Across the road, further up, on the site known today as Laureen’s Walk, is the Infants’ School, next to a large tin building which was originally a laundry. It served as a chapel of ease for Rottingdean’s Roman Catholics from 1918 to 1924.

Looking down Nevill Road (1)

The view from the top of Nevill Road on this rare postcard of the early 1920s shows the tin chapel quite clearly at the foot of the hill. Next to it stands a row of cottages built in 1891, also visible in the modern view (one of them, No. 22, is the curiously named Bubble Cottage).

A post office building and houses now occupy allotments and other open land on the right. Noticeable on the horizon is the spread of greenery near the ancient smugglers’ track (Whiteway Lane) to Saltdean.

Looking down Nevill Road (2)

This similar view to that on the preceding page has been included to show the development of the south side of the road and because it depicts the Infants’ School, with its walled playground near the former chapel of ease. The land on the eastern horizon was at this time undeveloped.

Again remarkable is the growth of vegetation, both around properties and on distant downland.

Towards The Green

Another fine Wardell postcard, this time of properties at the northern part of the High Street. On the left are Hampton Cottage and Ivy Cottage. Next to them, the Olde Place Cottages and Smugglers’ Den is a property merged from three earlier cottages. It is today the Rottingdean Club. The Olde Place Hotel is actually next door, displaying the RAC sign. It is now a private residence.

In the contemporary view, the colourful millennium procession wends its way towards The Green.


Copyright © Douglas d’Enno, 2009

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