About Upper Gardner Street

Photo:Street market today

Street market today

Photo by Peter Crowhurst

Upper Gardner Street

A brief history

By Maureen Brand, North Laine resident

A typical North Laine street

In this one street can be found all the key features of what the North Laine has meant to so many people over the years. Nowadays many of the original buildings have been torn down by overhasty developments, but there is enough left of the original buildings to get a sense of the mixture of uses that is at the heart of the North Laine. Here you will see cottages from the 1820s, alongside furniture and antique warehouses from a similar period. It was in Upper Gardner Street that many of Brighton's barrow boys would gather from the end of the nineteenth century selling all sorts of goods and their legacy is still there to be seen in today's Saturday market. One of the barrow yards from where the barrows were hired (Diplocks) was around the corner in North Road.

The former Central National Infants School and later the Central Boys Club can be found on the eastern side of the street and is now testament to the appalling planning decisions that are sometimes made.

Street market

The Saturday morning street market was set up by Harry Cowley in the 1890s. It was set aside by police and the Council for street traders with the aim of moving them from Bond Street and Gardner Street. Tables today sell bric-a-brac, books, tools and plants amongst other items.

Gardner Street today

On the east side of the street today are old warehouses, one labelled The Old Stables, and a mix of 20th century housing. On the west side are warehouses, old cottages (one of them with a datestone 1828) and the converted school.

School plaque

A plaque on the school records:

"1826.  Brighton National Schools

Central Infants School, Rebuilt 1887

And reopened

By Elizabeth Mary, Countess of Chichester

On Thursday November 3rd 1887.

J. Hannah D.C.L.

Archdeacon of Lewes And Vicar of Brighton"

It later became known as the Tindle Centre and today it has been partially developed/converted for housing and is in part unused.

This page was added on 25/02/2008.

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