North Laine History
The Blue Plaque dedicated to Ken Fines (below) on the wall of Infinity Foods in North St.
North Laine, 1826
The Brighton 1792 Terrier
North Laine as a field in 1788
Before 1790 all the land outside the resort but inside the parish was farmland
Prior to the expansion of the resort of Brighton in the years after 1790, all the land that lay inside the parish but outside the resort was farmland and divided into five large fields of which North Laine was one. The division of fields around Brighton goes back to the time of King Alfred who ordered that the possessions of the different land owners be re-
The System of Landholding determined the Layout of the Streets
The system of landholding determined how the land would be developed and the subsequent layout of the streets. The wide paths called leakways which separated the paul pieces later became important east -
When a prospective buyer identified the owner of land he wanted to buy he had to negotiate with the owners. Freehold land was bought outright for a fixed sum whilst copyhold land had to be registered in the court book of the manor which held the land. This meant an additional cost which could be over £7.
Having bought his long, narrow stretch of land (usually between two and five paul pieces were needed for a street) a developer would lay a road down the middle if there was sufficient space for houses on both sides. A road was usually 15 feet wide and stretched the length of the furlong so that the leakway could be used.
Furlongs and Paul Pieces
The North Laine had 10 furlongs, themselves further divided into paul pieces of which there were 1542. These paul pieces were just 8 ft wide so you needed 4/5 to build on making it necessary to purchase land off several people. Once land was acquired developers built small tenements or small courts as well as light industry. The wealthy wanted a sea view and because the furlongs in North Laine faced north -
The Naming of North Laine
In 1976, following a period of neglect in North Laine with properties left empty and industry in decline, the North Laine residents Association was formed and campaigned to improve the quality of the built environment and in particular to fight against the Council's policy of benevolent neglect -
Why North Laine?