Gloucester Passage

Photo:Print c 1840 attrib. Aaron Penley

Print c 1840 attrib. Aaron Penley

Royal Pavilion, Art Gallery & Museums

Photo:Gloucester Passage, May 2008

Gloucester Passage, May 2008

Photo by Maureen Brand

A brief history

By Maureen Brand, North Laine resident

First built circa 1823-30, Gloucester Passage was mentioned in 1850 Folthorps Directory as 'small tenements', changing in Page's Directory in 1873 to 'workshops'.


From 1888 until 1900 trades listed there were those of upholsterer, billposter, coal merchant, stables and potato merchants. In the twentieth century there were French polishers, hearthstone merchants, billposters, potato stores, saddler, coach and general smith, pianoforte and organ factory, shop fitters, gunsmith, upholstery, whiting manufacturer, motor tyre distributor, manufacturing chemists, paper bag maker, wholesale distributor and double glazing company.

A totally enclosed small square

In a booklet in the 1970s the Borough Planning Officer described Gloucester Passage: "As you walk through the twitten you emerge into a totally enclosed small square. On the left there used to be a blacksmith and wheelwright and next door a piano restorer and manufacturer. On the right was a corn merchant and you can still see the hoist which used to load the bags of corn and flour."

Gloucester Passage today is a small court alongside The Eagle public house, with work units and two cottages on the western side. A cottage and the side of the Gloucester Road Diamond Edge Works run along the eastern side. At the rear a passageway runs through into Gloucester Street. An old print in Brighton Revealed through Artists' Eyes c 1760-c 1960 shows that passageway in a print attributed to Aaron Penley circa 1840. A view from the Regency Society James Gray Collection shows the passageway in 1958 looking from Gloucester Street.

[Source: 1995, Brighton Revealed through Artists Eyes c 1760-c 1960, cat.62, Brighton, Royal Pavilion, Art Gallery & Museums]

This page was added on 19/05/2008.

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