North Laine History

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Cheltenham Place

Stretching between the lower end of Gloucester Road and North Road, Cheltenham Place was built circa 1830s. In a report of 1849 to the General Board of Health, Edward Cresy described Cheltenham Place as "a small alley, with houses back to back" and it was one of twelve North Laine streets listed as "situations where diseases prevail".

Small tenements

In a study of various Brighton and Hove street directories, Cheltenham Place in its early days was often listed simply as 'small tenements', but in its time included a malthouse, a baker at No 34, potato merchants at 49, a mineral water manufacturer at the original Nos 1 and 2 (later 36a) and amongst other small trades were a tailor, harness maker, bootmaker, laundress, chimney sweeper, and Avery the scalemakers. Nos 1 and 2 are newly built cottages, replacing two lock-up garages.

The North Laine Runner in 1982 reported a proposal for a Buddhist Centre to open in the old Acorn Works, Cheltenham Place.

The malthouse

At 40 Cheltenham Place once stood Ashby & Co Malthouses, Smithson's Brewery in 1850s, later the Bedford Brewery until 1914. After World War I it served as a provisions store, until 1966 Alfred Button & Co smoking bacon and until 1994 a T-shirt printing business. The building was demolished in 1994 and housing was built.

Harry Cowley

In 1921 a well known local figure, Harry Cowley, fighting for better conditions for the working class, helped a homeless ex-serviceman called Hodson to squat in an empty Cheltenham Place house, No 14.

19th century terraced housing

Terraced housing is mainly two bedroom houses on two storeys. No 29 has been traced back as far as 1835, and No 39, Brighthelmston Cottage, used to have a datestone 'AD 1833' until it was renovated in 2003.

The Pianola Shop

At the southern end of Cheltenham Place stood the Pianola Shop with its entrance on North Rd but with the entrance to the living accommodation on Cheltenham Place. Here lived  Mary Belton, the owner.


Mary Belton, a popular resident  of Cheltenham Place

The wall of the malthouse at 40 Blenheim Place  -the only remains of the former malthouse