About Foundry Street

Photo:Warehouse, Foundry Street

Warehouse, Foundry Street

Photo by Maureen Brand

Photo:The Foundry public house

The Foundry public house

Photo by Maureen Brand

Photo:Foundry Street

Foundry Street

Photo by Maureen Brand

A brief history

By Maureen Brand, North Laine resident

Foundry Street runs between Gloucester and North Roads. Built in 1842-7, it was named to commemorate the Regent Iron Foundry which stood where the Post Office sorting office stands today in North Road.

Health report 1849

In a report to the General Board of Health in 1849, Edward Cresy, the Superintending Inspector, described Foundry Street: "Foundery-street [sic] - A collection of bones, rags, and other refuse, on these premises, is much complained of" and it is included in his list of "Situations Where Diseases Prevail".

19th century business

Folthorp's street directory of 1856 lists Foundry Street businesses at the time: a patent lead pipe manufacturer, a baker, bootmaker, accountant and the White Horse inn. Today the public house has been recently renamed 'The Foundry', although long term residents knew it as the 'Pedestrian Arms'.

House prices over the years

The North Laine Runner in July-Aug 1996 reported that in 1885 house No 19 was sold for £815. Over the years, however, the Regent Foundry declined and with it house prices. The same house sold for £300 in 1928 and in 1965 at £375 in what was then a run-down area.

On the west side of the street today some of the warehousing has been converted into apartments but there is still evidence of the lifting equipment.

This page was added on 25/02/2008.

I lived at No 6 Foundry Street in about 1966/7 as a young child. At that time the house had an outside w.c and a bath under the stairs in the kitchen and the back bedroom on the top floor was open plan with the stairs leading directly into the room.

The pub was the Pedestrian Arms and at the Gloucester Street end was the Wick pub, opposite which was a corner shop run by Mr and Mrs King. A rag and bone man used to visit but this was a rarity so I was taken outside to see him, having heard him call and ring a bell.

I first attended Central School, which was on the old Jubilee site, but later transferred to Saint Paul's. Before being evicted for non-payment of rent we moved out to a bedsit in Clifton Terrace.

One of my strongest memories of the area was playing in the Unicorn Bookshop where my mother worked, owned and run by Bill Butler, a very important part of Brighton's counter culture and queer history, who sadly died in 1973.

By Niki Trelawny
On 06/09/2009

My wife and I bought No 12 Foundry Street, next to the pub, in 1974 with a council mortgage (a great assistance and investment in young people, sadly no council initiative like this now). When we bought the house, the Pedestrian Arms was a very quiet mainly fishermen's pub. Unfortunately by the time we moved in after the usual process, the publican had died and shortly afterwards a new publican from London moved in and brought a jukebox with him! What a painful time, with late night pub noise and barrels banging against the wall at night and early morning. What with post office workers and diesel vans starting at 5am and seagulls joining them, my newly born baby girl could not sleep and nor could I. A girl who worked in London and wanted to enjoy the pub next door bought our house, so we escaped three years later. But it could have been so different without all the noise as it was great to open the front door to city life and visit the Upper Gardner Street market on Saturday mornings etc.

By Danny Cassidy
On 26/11/2010

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.