Wykeham Terrace 2

By Steve Myall

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Wykeham Terrace 2' page

This lithograph was published by William Grant of Castle Square, c1850, as a pair to the view shown on the page ‘Clifton Terrace & Upper North Street’.  They are both views taken from the tower of St. Nicholas’ Church. As a pair of prints they were obviously popular in the 1850s as within ten years they were republished by H. Holden, a stationer of St. George’s Road, Brighton. Unfortunately, because one was of Clifton Terrace and the other of Wykeham, they usually ended up being separated, and a pair together has not appeared on the Brighton print market for decades. There are no Victorian engravings of Wykeham Terrace as a discrete subject; it appears in the background of four small views of St. Nicholas’, then this larger view from the tower is the most comprehensive depiction. On the left of the picture, just beyond the graveyard, can be seen the upper part of Church Street, and in the middle distance the Dome and Pavilion are clearly visible. On the right hand horizon is the Town Hall, and just left of that is the Chain Pier.

For the building of Wykeham Terrace, Ford and Collis put it between 1822 and 1830, Wikipedia writes that A.H.Wilds is believed to have been commissioned to build it in 1827, and a resident of the Terrace who has researched it at the ESRO writes that it was built between 1827 and 1839.  In 1855 the Rev. George Wagner, a cousin of the vicar of Brighton, purchased numbers 1 to 5 and 8 to 11 together with properties in the adjacent Queen Square. He had previously established a home on the Lewes Road to help and rehabilitate prostitutes, and these new premises enabled the work to expand. When the Rev. George died, the Rev. Arthur Wagner took it over. It became St. Mary’s Home for Female Penitents and offered valuable education and healthcare for 40 women.

Wykeham Terrace has variously been described as Tudor-Gothic and Regency-Gothic, and as a non-ecclesiastical building of Gothic design it is very rare in Brighton. English Heritage listed it as Grade II in 1969. It is probably best known today for its famous residents, who include Dame Flora Robson, Sir Roy Strong, David Courtney and Adam Faith. However, before these residents, the Terrace’s most important name, from the point of view of the history of Brighton, was that of John Ackerson Erredge, who lived at number 1 for a few months in early 1858. Erredge was the author of ‘The History of Brighthelmstone, with a Chronological Table of Local Events’, published in 1862 and one of the most important Victorian history books of our city.

This page was added on 09/05/2011.

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