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04 July 2020

King's Gardens, Hove

Judy Middleton  2002 (revised 2020) 

copyright © J.Middleton
King's Gardens looking east towards the junction with Grand Avenue

The houses of King’s Gardens stretch along the north side of Kingsway; numbers 1 to 4 are between Grand Avenue and Third Avenue, numbers 8 to 14 are between Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue, while number 15 is on the west corner of Fourth Avenue next to St Catherine’s Terrace. The fact that there are no numbers 5 to 7 leaves one to suppose that the original intention of the developer was that the houses should continue without a gap. 

copyright © J.Middleton
The architectural styles are different. Numbers 1 to 4 were built of red brick, with the south facades stuccoed (two rendered pink, and another white) while number 4 is a fiery example of red brick and terracotta. The east wall of number 1 has some charming decorative features in terracotta. In complete contrast numbers 8 to 15 were built in yellow/white brick with moulded and incised brick dressings and glazed balconies. Numbers 9, 10 and 12 have front doors containing roundels of stained-glass featuring an image of a young girl and man, but it is missing from number 11. The original entrances to numbers 13 and 14 on the south side are no more, and the combined entrance is now situated in Fourth Avenue.

It seems incredible that appreciation for these fine houses came somewhat late in the day because they did not receive Grade II listed building status until 2 November 1992. It is a sad fact that well-built Victorian houses have long been undervalued by eminent architects, and it is more luck than judgement that King’s Gardens have not been swept away to accommodate high rise blocks of flats.

The dwarf wall dividing King’s Gardens from Kingsway was vested in the Hove Commissions.

John T. Chappell

He was the builder responsible for King’s Gardens, and his first planning application was approved by Hove Commissioners on 15 August 1889 for the four villas between Grand Avenue and Third Avenue. Chappell was extensively employed at Hove. It is said he designed at least 120 units out of the 269 units on the West Brighton Estate (The Avenues and Grand Avenue). He also built the following:

Connaught Road Schools
Davigdor Road Schools
Hove Hospital
St Catherine’s Terrace

Chappell was also a well-known builder in London, and his address was 149 Lupus Street, Pimlico.

copyright © J.Middleton

House Notes

Number 1

In 1896 this house was sold for £12,700, an incredible sum. There is a tradition that Edward VII once visited the house in order to play billiards while he was staying with Arthur and Louise Sassoon at 8 King’s Gardens. Later on, the house was occupied by the Misses Cones, three sisters who were the principals of the Italia School of Ballet. In March 1922 Messrs Willett applied for planning permission to convert the house into flats. In July 1988 a two-bedroom flat was on sale for £89,950.

Number 2

Sir Hermann Gollanz (1852-1930) a noted Jewish scholar, once stayed in this house. He also stayed at 1 St Aubyns Mansions. He was born in Bremen, son of Rabbi Samuel Marcus Gollanz, and he became an authority on the Hebrew language and literature. He was the first Jew to graduate with a D. Litt from University College, London, and he was the Goldsmid Professor of Hebrew at this college from 1902 to 1923. He proved to be of great assistance when the Mocatta Library was transferred to University College. Gollanz preached at the Bayswater Synagogue from 1892 to 1923. Gollanz was well known for his philanthropic work, and he was the first Jew to receive a knighthood. According to the Annual Review (1927) of Hove Library, Gollanz was an occasional resident of Hove, and in that year he presented the library with a number of his writings on the Talmud, Holy Shekel, and similar subjects – there were eight volumes altogether. When the Chief Rabbi Dr Adler (who also lived at Hove) died, Gollanz was urged to allow his name to go forward as a candidate for Chief Rabbi. But he refused because he was a personal friend of the candidates and did not wish to stand against them. His brother was Israel Gollanz (1864-1930) and they were uncles of the publisher Victor Gollanz.

In 1922 planning permission was granted to convert the house into flats. In October 1994 a flat came up for sale at £175,000, and contained three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The lounge measured 25-ft 8-in and there were full-length windows opening onto a balcony; the dining room measured 13-ft 6-in, and there were leaded-light windows.

Number 4

On 16 May 1899 Mortimer Singer wrote a letter from this address to Hove Council asking to be ‘allowed the honour and pleasure of presenting the Mace to the Corporation as a mark of my respect for the government of Hove, which has been conspicuous for its excellent work for so many years.’ Not surprisingly, Hove Council was only too happy to accept the offer with a hearty vote of thanks, and the mace was formally presented to the town on 12 October 1899.

The mace was composed of solid silver, heavily silver-gilt, and on the summit was a representation of the imperial crown with orb and cross. The fillet was set with carbuncles, amethysts, and corals, and there was enamel work on those parts that would be seen above the shoulder, and below the hand of the mace-bearer. Part of the decoration included a symbolic figure of Hove surrounded by other figures representing navigation, education, music, industry, steam, electricity, science and art. There was also a full blazon of the Hove coat-of-arms.

On 25 January 1900 Hove Council decided to allow five guineas a year, plus a uniform, to a suitable man to act as mace-bearer on ceremonial occasions. The Watch Committee was given the task of finding such a man. Inspector William Fox, aged 45, became the first mace-bearer, having previously served in Hove Police for 23 years.

Colonel Edward Holmes Baddock lived in this house, where he died on 14 February 1913. He had served in the Shropshire Yeomanry for 31 years, being colonel from 1897 to 1902.

In 1918 A. H. Lainson, on behalf of Mr J. C. Goold, sought planning permission to convert the house into four flats.
Gilbert Frankau
by Bassano Ltd
whole-plate glass negative, 28 August 1920
Given by Bassano & Vandyk Studios, 1974
NPG x75174

The writer Gilbert Frankau (1884-1952) occupied a flat on the first floor from 1949 until he died there on 4 November 1952. Gilbert Frankau was born in Notting Hill, and his father was an East India cigar merchant, a fine horseman and gymnast, and also a caricaturist. His mother wrote novels under the pen-name of Frank Danby. Gilbert won a scholarship to Eton, and when he was aged seventeen he was sent to Germany to learn the language; between 1912 and 1914 he travelled around the world. He followed his father into the cigar trade, becoming managing director, while at the same time pursuing a career as a novelist. Writing came easily to him, and he produced many best-sellers, the most famous being One of Us (1912) Peter Jackson, Cigar Merchant (1919) and World Without End (1943). The manuscript of Peter Jackson, which had some local scenes, was accidentally burned by a maid, and he had to re-write it.

During the First World War Frankau joined the 9th East Surrey Regiment, later transferred to the R.F.A. in France, and by 1915 he was adjutant of his brigade. He saw service at Loos, Ypres and the Somme. In October 1916 he was appointed Staff Captain for special propaganda duties in Italy. But in 1918 he was invalided out of service because shell-shock had finally caught up with him; he recovered and continued to write, as he had done during his war service. Several of his books were made into films, and in 1926 he undertook a long tour of the USA to promote his work. However, his visit to Hollywood was not a success – he did not care for the place, and Hollywood certainly did not like him.

Frankau greatly admired Rudyard Kipling, whom he knew personally. During the Second World War Frankau joined the RAFVR, and in April 1940 he was promoted to squadron leader, working on the intelligence side until 1941. Then he spent three years in the Home Guard, finishing as a sergeant. He was married three times, the first two ending in divorce initiated by his wives. Frankau was a member of the Brighton Chess Club, and president and chairman of the Sussex Sword Club. By 1950 he had completed 22 novels, and was in the middle of writing another one when he died.

Gilbert Frankau’s first wife was Dorothea Drummond Black, and they married in 1905. Their daughter Pamela Frankau became a well-know novelist and broadcaster. His third wife was Susan Lorna Harris, and they married in 1932. She continued to live in the flat, and survived her husband for many years, dying in 1985. On 11 October 1985 a lady living in the house had a clear view of Mrs Frankau’s ghost. The lady was going downstairs when she happened to look over the banisters and saw Mrs Frankau standing outside her front door, as plain and definite as she remembered her. Mrs Frankau’s figure was stooped with age, and she was wearing a grey winter coat that was almost the last garment she had purchased. Mrs Frankau had become very frail, and in her later years hardly ventured out at all – a hairdresser called to do her hair, and if she needed to go out, a taxi was summoned.

This was not the only mysterious happening at number 4 either. In 1982 a couple moved into a flat on the second floor. Instinctively, the woman felt misgivings, picking up on the unhappy atmosphere. But her husband thought such feelings were ridiculous, and anyway it was only a temporary move. In 1983 another couple moved into an adjacent flat on the second floor. Here again, the woman felt uneasy, but she never realised quite how oppressive the atmosphere had been until they moved out – then she felt as though a weight had been lifted from her. On one occasion she had tried to sell a pair of large and expensive curtains. A woman who arrived to view the curtains turned out to be a medium, and she told the wife to move out as soon as possible because some very unhappy experiences must have occurred in the house.

In April 1998 councillors agreed to a grant of £13,000 to enable the external brick-work to be restored; the work involved cutting out some 5,000 decayed red bricks – the result of severe weathering – and replacing them with new bricks.

In November 1991 a flat was on sale for at £250,000, and contained three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a dining room, and a drawing room measuring 31-ft by 25-ft 9-in. The two later rooms had beautiful inlaid hardwood flooring and original marble fireplaces. In addition there was plenty of ornamental plasterwork.

In October 1997 the penthouse was on sale for £230,000. It occupied the whole of the fourth floor, and an unusual feature was the polygonal turret. The penthouse contained three bedrooms, a dining room, a drawing room, and a fitted kitchen.

Number 8

copyright © J.Middleton

This is the most famous house in King’s Gardens because of its royal connections during the time Arthur Sassoon and his wife Louise lived there from 1883 until his death. The 1891 census recorded that the domestic staff consisted of one butler, two footmen, and six female servants, three of them with the Christian name Ellen. Of course these were just the staff who lived in the house – there might have been other people who worked there too, especially a high-quality cook to cater for the royal taste-buds. One can imagine the flurry of activity downstairs when a royal visit was imminent.
Arthur Abraham David Sassoon 
as Chief of the Janissaries by Lafayette,
 photogravure by Walker & Boutall 1897;
published 1899, NPG Ax41047

The Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) stayed in the house in 1898, and the Hove Gazette (26 February 1898) printed a full account:

‘The front looked very bright and gay on Sunday and so evidently thought the Prince of Wales who had more than one drive from east to west. His Royal Highness looked in good health and his stay in King’s Gardens, Hove, was evidently a pleasure. Hove has many a distinguished visitor within her gates but none more welcome than the heir apparent. From Saturday to Monday (19 to 21 February) Hove was honoured by a visit from the Prince of Wales who came down from Victoria on Saturday morning, attended by Sir Stanley Clarke, on a private visit to Mr Arthur Sassoon. On driving up at number 8 King’s Gardens, the Prince was met by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, Count Mensdorff, and Lord and Lady Wolverton. On Sunday His Royal Highness had a trip on the Rottingdean sea-going car, accompanied by his host and hostess, the Duke and Duchess of Fife and others. Mr Magnus Volk explained “how it was done”, and the Prince, in the course of conversation, said he was glad to learn that the damage done to the railway last winter had been so easily repaired. Later in the day the Prince took tea at Reuben Sassoon’s and those who subsequently met him at dinner at Mr Arthur Sassoon’s were the following:

Duke and Duchess of Fife
Count Mensdorff
Lord Charles Montagu
Lord and Lady Wolverton
Sir Edward and Lady Sassoon
Sir Stanley Clarke
Mr Reuben Sassoon
Mrs Hyeem (née Mozelle Sassoon)
Mr J. Ward
Mr Stoner

His Royal Highness returned to town early on Monday.’

Magnus Volk was highly gratified by the royal visit and installed a commemorative plaque plus a large framed photograph in the saloon of the Pioneer, the name of his ‘sea-going car’.

In 1908 King Edward VII stayed with the Princess Royal and her husband the Duke of Fife at Brighton. On 11 February the King motored over to 8 King’s Gardens where he dined with Mr and Mrs Arthur Sassoon, and Captain the Honourable Seymour Fortescue was in attendance. Afterwards, the King went for a motor drive over the Downs between Rottingdean and Newhaven before returning to dine with the Sassoons. On 12 February the King followed the same pattern, driving over to King’s Gardens for lunch and to dine. This time the interlude was occupied by a motor drive to Steyning and Henfield. The Marquiss of Abergavenny was amongst the guests invited to dine at King’s Gardens. The King had requested that this should be a private visit, and it seemed the general public respected his privacy.

copyright © J.Middleton

In 1910 the King paid two visits to King’s Gardens – in January and February. A letter dated 15 January 1910 and signed by Arthur Davidson was forwarded from 8 King’s Gardens to Hove police. The letter ran:

‘I am commanded by the King to express to you His Majesty’s appreciation of the manner in which his wishes have been respected, that his visit should be regarded as an entirely private one. It has pleased and gratified the King to find since his arrival, that wherever he has been, the same regard to his personal convenience has been observed by everyone … the King hopes he may be able to repeat his visit under the same satisfactory conditions.’

At the second visit in February 1910 Arthur Sassoon met him at Brighton Station and drove him to Hove. The King had requested that his visit should be treated as private, and there was no demonstration at Brighton, beyond the general raising of hats. However, upon arrival at King’s Gardens, there was a crowd plus a detachment of Hove police under the guidance of Inspector Lee to keep them in order. The group was composed of around 50 unemployed men led by Mr Hardy – banners were torn down, and Mr Hardy was arrested.

The King looked in excellent health and spirits, and wore an exquisite carnation in his buttonhole. The next day he went for a walk in the private gardens (now Hove Lawns) and enjoyed sitting on one of the covered seats. On the afternoon of the first day the King called at 7 Queen’s Gardens to spend an hour with Reuben Sassoon, and then went for a drive in a closed brougham.

copyright © J.Middleton
The King at Hove and right in his favourite seat on Hove's seafront

On another day he walked briskly along the sea-front for around two miles. He also enjoyed a walk in the private gardens. As he leaned over the balustrade to look at the sea, a party of small boys from a private school passed by, and all raised their caps. The King smiled and raised his hat in return. During his stay, the King granted an audience to the Prime Minister, Mr Asquith, which lasted nearly an hour. The King also visited Brighton Central Police Station where he saw 30 ragged children being fitted out with new clothes and boots. On Sunday the King attended morning service at All Saints Church in The Drive.

When the King returned to London, he sent a pair of gold cuff-links with the royal monogram in jewels to William Cocks, Chief Constable of Hove, in appreciation of the attention paid to him on his recent visit. The Kind died less than three months later on 6 May 1910 at the age 68. Arthur Sassoon donated £100 towards the cost of the King Edward VII memorial statue subscribed to by the people of Brighton and Hove, with Hove producing the most money. The memorial stands on the boundary between Brighton and Hove and is now known as the Peace Statue.

Edward VII enjoyed his visits to ‘dear Arthur’, and Louise was an elegant hostess who knew how to put him at his ease. It was also the case that the sea air was beneficial to his health because he suffered from asthma and bronchitis.
copyright © Royal Pavilion & Museum
Sir Edward Sassoon M.P.
1910 Brighton Season Magazine

Arthur Sassoon (1840-1912) was born on 25 May, and named Arthur Abraham David, son of David Sassoon of Bombay. Arthur Sassoon remained a director of David Sassoon & Co of Leadenhall Street until his death, although he was better known in society than in the City because his last thirty to forty years were devoted to social pleasures. He was a half-brother of Sir Albert Sassoon, and an uncle of Edward Sassoon MP.

In 1873 he married Eugénie Louise, daughter of Chevalier Achille Perugia of Trieste. She was blessed with a magnolia complexion, and chestnut curls, and she wore magnificent diamonds. But she also possessed a social conscience, and spent a great deal of time working amongst Jewish working-class girls during the First World War, and she was awarded a CBE for her efforts. Her cousin Leopold Rothschild declared that he would never marry until he found a bride as beautiful as Mrs Arthur Sassoon – he married her sister Marie. Margot Asquith was of the opinion that Louise Sassoon was one of the most delightful women she had ever known. Besides the royal visits, the Sassoons entertained other society people at 8 King’s Gardens, and on 27 January 1890 the Duchess of Fife visited, while in February1898 the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire came to stay. It is said that when royalty was visiting, the Mayor of Hove would ensure that railings and public seats near the Sassoon residence were freshly painted to deter loiterers.

Otherwise, security at the Sassoon establishment was quite lax, as young Ernie Mason discovered. He worked for W. Miles & Co, high-class greengrocer and florist, 16 Church Road, Hove. One of his tasks was to go into the houses of the rich clientele to tend to their pot plants and flower arrangements, as well as sponge the palm leaves. He was suitably amazed at the opulence of the Sassoon residence, and equally surprised that the front door was always unlocked; he would let himself in and attend to his duties. Sometimes he did not see another soul, but once he went downstairs and found a footman busily polishing a great mound of silver objects.

Courtney Horton Ledger (1896-1983) who was chairman of the Sussex Mutual Society from 1962 to 1973, enjoyed telling the anecdote of the time he was bitten by the royal dog. He was passing by 8 King’s Gardens one day when Edward VII’s bull terrier ran out and bit his leg. The dog was called Caesar, and was devoted to his master to such an extent that he took part in the King’s funeral procession, together with the King’s favourite charger in front of him.

In January 1911 Mr R. H. Williams died – he was for many years Arthur Sassoon’s steward.

Arthur Sassoon died on 12 March 1912 at Leighton Buzzard, in the residence of Leopold Rothschild, his brother-in-law. The funeral took place on the 15 March in the Jewish Cemetery at Golder’s Green. The King was represented by Commander Sir Charles Cust, equerry, and the Queen was represented by Colonel Sir Arthur Davidson. George V sent a wreath of lilies-of-the-valley with a card inscribed ‘as a token of friendship and in remembrance of many happy days spent at Tulchan, George R & I.’ A number of society people were present including:

The Earl of Roseberry
Earl of Derby
Earl Howe
Earl of Kerry
Earl of Chesterfield

One obituary stated ‘he knew the Bible perfectly, and read The Times through from beginning to end every day’. This was by no means the whole picture because he was widely read, and knew Hebrew, Arabic and Hindustani. He was also said to be very kind-hearted and generous. Another obituary read that his ‘great wealth enabled him and Mrs Sassoon to entertain considerably, both at their villa at Hove and at Tulchan Lodge in Scotland. Mr Sassoon was honoured with the friendship of the late King Edward, who, as Prince of Wales, and afterwards as King, frequently visited him … while King George was his guest last Autumn at Tulchan Lodge for grouse shooting. King Edward conferred on him the CVO in 1903.’

Four stained-glass windows in memory of Arthur Sassoon were placed in the Middle Street Synagogue. He left over £650,000, not counting his real estate in China. But Arthur and Louise had no children, and so the wealth went to the children of his brother Reuben Sassoon.

Henry du Pré Labouchere once made a memorable remark – that Brighton was a ‘sea-coast town, three miles long and three yards broad, with a Sassoon at each end and one in the middle.’ No doubt this referred to Arthur Sassoon in the west, Sir Albert Sassoon in the east, and Reuben Sassoon in the middle.

In 1917 Sir Arthur Pearson purchased number 8 to use as a convalescent home for officer patients of St Dunstan’s, which he founded. The establishment was run in conjunction with number 12 King’s Gardens, which had already been acquired for this purpose in 1916. The house continued to be used by St Dunstan’s until Sir Arthur Pearson died in 1921.

In 1922 planning permission was obtained to convert the house into five spacious flats. Messrs Jenner & Dell auctioned off the entire contents during three days from 30 May to 1 June. The advertisement grandly stated the house was ‘the residence in which the late King Edward VII resided when in Hove’. Most of the furniture had been made by Gillow & Co, or Collinson & Lock, and included the following:

Dutch marqueterie cabinet and bureau
Angelus piano player in mahogany marqueterie case
Set of 18 walnut dining room chairs upholstered in crimson morocco leather
Mahogany and walnut dining tables
Writing tables made of amboyna wood, oak, mahogany, and walnut
Brilliant plate mirrors in richly gilt carved frames
Persian, Wilton and Axminster carpets
Complete bedroom suites in polished birch, wainscot oak, white enamel, etc
High-class all-brass bedsteads
Oak bedsteads
Wardrobes in wainscot oak, white enamel, and japanned
Chesterfields, easy chairs, and settees
A few books

Not surprisingly, the flats were named Royal Court.

In January 1984 European Land Investments Ltd acquired the house, and it was stated that restoration work would start within a few weeks. Wickhamcastle Developments completed the task in 1985. There were now seven luxury flats; on the lower ground floor there were two flats – a one-bedroom unit for £28,000, and a two-bedroom flat for £32,000. The ground, first and second floors were converted into single three-bedroom flats for prices between £64,500 and £82,500, while at the top of the building there were two maisonettes. The magnificent hallway had an impressive staircase, ornate ceiling mouldings, and four large stained-glass panels each depicting a season of the year.

A first floor flat became the home of Sir Ranulph Bacon who died aged 81 in March 1988. His police career spanned 38 years, and his posts ranged from Inspector General of Ceylon from 1943 to 1947, Chief Constable of Devon, and Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police – in the latter role he was popularly known as Rasher of the Yard. His estate was valued at £237,000.

In June 2002 a two-bedroom mansion apartment on the ground floor was up for sale at £225,000, although it was stated that the flat needed up-grading. The rooms possessed many period features including the fireplaces, and plaster cornices decorating the 13-ft high ceiling. There was also a garden.

In July 2001 a first-floor flat was on sale through Mishon Mackay for £425,000. During the previous twelve years Lloyds underwriter Stephen Gordon had occupied the apartment. The Argus (18 July 2001) printed an illustrated article about it, which mentioned that the doors into the drawing room were ‘original 19th century Belgian chateau-style glass from floor to ceiling with delicate gold trim’. Mr Gordon had decided to leave the 5-ft drop chandeliers in situ because there were ‘not many homes that can wear that amount of jewellery’. Unusually, the property came with two single garages, with enough space in front of them to park two more vehicles.

In the Argus (20 February 2002) there was a fascinating story concerning number 8. Gary Nash had only been living in a flat at the top of the house for a couple of months when, by chance, he pulled out a bunch of family documents and discovered that on his grandparents’ wedding certificate, their address at the time of their marriage was recorded as 8 King’s Gardens. His grandmother Emma Urry was a house-maid, and she married Richard Jurd when he came home on leave. When Mr Nash realized the coincidence, he said his hair stood up on end. It may be that his grandmother once lived in the same rooms he now occupied.

Number 10

In the 1891 census Horace Chandler, barrister, lived in the house with his wife, brother, two visitors, and three female servants,

In 1923 planning permission was given to covert the house into flats.

Number 12

In 1891 the house was occupied by a man who earned his living on the stock exchange. His name is difficult to read on the census returns – it looks like William Shute, but there is a different name in the Directory. At any rate, the man lived with his wife, four sons, five daughters, and a retinue of twelve servants including a butler, and two footmen. The female servants included a cook, nurse, nurse-maid, lady’s maid, and schoolroom maid.

It is said that Lillie Langtry (1853-1929) once stayed in the house, but then her name is also mentioned in connection with several houses in the area. What is certain is that she was the guest on several occasions at 7 Queen’s Gardens, the home of Reuben Sassoon, but in her memoirs she confused the address and stated the large house was in Brunswick Gardens.

In September 1916 Sir Arthur Pearson, Press baron and founder of St Dunstan’s for blind servicemen, took over the house for use as a convalescent home for officer patients from St Dunstan’s – in 1918 he purchased 8 King’s Gardens for the same purpose. During the autumn and winter of 1917/1918 there were often as many as 40 officers spending their week-ends at King’s Gardens. The large swimming pool at Medina Baths was reserved for these patients every Sunday morning, free of charge.

During the 1930s Lady Western of Rivenhall lived in flat 1; she was the widow of Sir Thomas Western, whose forebears once owned Preston Manor and the Wick Estate.

copyright © J.Middleton

Number 13

On 16 September 1919 Messrs Wilkinson, Son & Welch held an auction on the premises of ‘superior furniture’ once in use in the house, including the following items:

Bedroom suites with inlaid mahogany and walnut
Gentleman’s mahogany wardrobe
A very handsome rosewood drawing room suite of cabinets, tables, chairs and settees
Broadwood grand piano
Broadwood cottage pianoforte
Mahogany library suite
Walnut bookcase
Carved mahogany cabinet
Persian rugs
Rich plush curtains
Old Dutch paintings
Valuable massive marble clock with bronze group
Empire candelabra

Number 14

In the early 1890s Sir George Martin-Holloway (1833-1895) occupied this house. His double-barrelled surname is a clue to a most interesting family history that came about because in 1839 his sister Jane married George Holloway (1800-1883). This man became extremely wealthy due to the successful sale of pills and potions. However, there were no children of the marriage, and Holloway began to cast around for the best philanthropic way of disposing of his fortune. In this he was greatly assisted by Lord Salisbury, as well as by his wife, and his brother-in-law George Martin with whom Holloway had a close friendship.

George Holloway, as might be expected of an astute man of business, took the process of research seriously, and consulted many eminent people. He also despatched his brother-in-law George Martin to inspect the colleges in Europe and the USA, while he himself went to France in the company of W. H. Crossland, his chosen architect. Not surprisingly, the resulting buildings could be described as Franco-Gothic. The result of all this was the foundation of two famous institutions – the Royal Holloway College and the Holloway Sanatorium at Virginia Water for the treatment of middle-class women suffering from mental health problems. The site for the former was the Mount Lee Estate at Egham, which cost £25,000. No expense was spared in the building and fitting-out of the college, which caused a great deal of tut-tutting from conservative males who deplored the huge amount spent on mere females. But George Holloway had great ambitions for his college, and did not want his college to be just for the training of governesses and teachers – he wanted it to be a full-blown university where women could take degrees. No less a person than Queen Victoria formally opened the Royal Holloway College on 30 June 1886, and the following year 28 women embarked on their studies. By this time of course George Holloway had died, and the mantle of responsibility fell to his brother-in-law who became Sir George Martin-Holloway.

Alderman Jeremiah Colman (1853-1939) three times Mayor of Hove lived in this house from 1895 until around 1903 – he and his wife later lived at the mansion Wick Hall, and finally at 2 Grand Avenue. He was the son of Edward Colman, one of the founders of the famous firm of J. & J. Colman, the mustard manufacturers of Norwich. (For more details, please see Grand Avenue).

In June 1990 a first-floor apartment at 13/14 King’s Gardens was on sale for £275,000 – there having been no takers with the previous price of £325,000. The drawing room measured 24-ft by 21-ft, and there were floor to ceiling windows opening out onto a sea-front balcony. There was an ornate fireplace, beautiful gilt plasterwork, and a painted ceiling.

Number 15

In 1891 James H, Skelton, aged 63, a Mexican and South American merchant, lived in this house with his wife, son, daughter, a butler and two female servants.

In 1896 the house was sold for £10,000.

In 1923 planning permission was given to convert the house to flats.

copyright © J.Middleton
These beach huts were photographed on 2 June 2009 with King's Gardens in the background


Argus (21 August 2000 / 18 July 2001 / 20 February 2002)
Census returns
Encyclopaedia of Hove and Portslade
Gilbert, E. M. Brighton, Old Ocean’s Bauble (1961
Hove Council Minutes
Hove Library Annual Review (1927)
Hove Gazette (26 February 1898)
Jackson, S. The Sassoons (1968)
Langtry, L. The Days that I Knew (N. D.)
Mason, E. A Working Man. A Century of Hove Memories (1999) QueenSpark 36
Personal interview
The Royal Jubilee Book 1910-1935
Walbrook, H. M. Hove and the Great War (1920)

Copyright © J.Middleton 2020
page layout by D.Sharp