Gardens & wildlife

Sylvan Hall

Holly Bank on the Sylvan Hall Estate










Picture: Holly Bank (22 flats) on the Sylvan Hall Estate


Sylvan Hall Brighton today

South of Princes Crescent from junction of Belton Road to that of Crescent Road

The Poplars (6 flats)

The Willows (12 flats)

The Chestnuts (6 flats)


Access via Bromley Road off Ditchling Road

Birch Lodge (6 flats)

Firbank (6 flats

Hazelbank (12 flats)

Hollybank (22 flats)

Maple House (6 flats)

The Cedars (12 flats)

The Laurels

Larchbank (6 flats)

The Limes (6 flats)


Access via Canterbury Drive off Upper Lewes Road

Elm Lodge

Rowan House (9 flats)

The Lindens (12 flats)

The Pines

Holt Lodge


From the 1850s

Wakefield Villa later known as Woodfield Lodge and The Rookery was near the site now occupied by The Chestnuts.

Rosehill Villa (later known as Hill Lodge) was on the site now occupied by Birch Lodge and Holly Bank.

Rosehill Cottage, also known as The Cottage, was at the NE junction of Ditchling Road and Upper Lewes Road near the site now occupied by Rowan House.

Sylvan Lodge, known as Sylvan Hall from 1923, was on the site now occupied by  Holt Lodge and The Pines.

Rose Hill Park and Round Hill Park villas

The Colbatch-Clark family bought the land in 1850, developing it as Round Hill Park. This also included the semi-detached villas that today are numbers 68 to 80 on the east side of Ditchling Road.

Rose Hill Park Villas (1871)      [A] [B] [D] link to photos

For locations, see The side by side OS 25 inch 1892-1914 map

[A] WAKEFIELD VILLA  Richard EDWARDS (born Hastings). Also known as WOODFIELD LODGE and THE ROOKERYThe 1878 Street Directory identifies 4 Wakefield Road (old street numbering: Sylvan Estate side of the street) as "Wakefield Villa". Demolished in 1951, the current blocks of 2 & 3 storey flats followed. See also Wakefield Road in 1871

[B] ROSEHILL VILLA   Rev. Thomas MOSELY (born London) - listed under Ditchling Road (south of Bromley Rd). Also known as HILL LODGE. See article by Chris Tullett. Demolished in 1953.

[C] ROSE HILL COTTAGE   John COLBATCH ONIONS (born Shrewsbury) listed under Ditchling Road (also called "THE COTTAGE"), a great deal larger than the name suggests, on the corner of Ditchling Road and Upper Lewes Road.

[D] SYLVAN LODGE    George L. CLOWSER (born Middlesex) listed under 1 Upper Lewes Road. Demolished in the mid 1970s. Also known as SYLVAN HALL (from 1923) set back from the junction of Upper Lewes Road and Wakefield Road and located at the end of Canterbury Drive on a site now occupied by flats called The Pines.

Round Hill Park Villas (1871) - click on red links for more info

Semi-detached villas situated on Ditchling Road between Bromley Road and Princes Crescent

1 Round Hill Park   Henry HOLLAMBY (Livery Stable Keeper)
2 Round Hill Park   Edward WATERMAN (Attorney)

3 Round Hill Park   Edward TAINSH (Author)
4 Round Hill Park   James L.W.DIXON (Retired Surgeon)

5 Round Hill Park   Thomas RUSCOE (No occupation)
6 Round Hill Park   William WALKER (Railway Store Keeper)

7 Round Hill Park   Amelia E. NEWMAN (Scholar)
8 Round Hill Park   Sarah PATEY (No occupation: aged 60)

[These semi-detached villas on the east side of Ditchling Road are now numbered 68 to 80. See Side by side OS 25 inch 1892-1914 map]

From the 1900s

Rose Hill Cottage remained a home to the Clark family until 1939.  

By 1903, Rosehill Villa (renamed Hill Lodge) was a dormitory for student teachers attending the Diocesan Training College (now Brighton Business Centre) at the NW junction of Ditchling Road and Viaduct Road.

By 1920 Sylvan Lodge was also accommodation for student teachers.

By 1931 student teachers also occupied Wakefield Villa, which was renamed "The Rookery". 


Diocesan Training College











DIOCESAN TRAINING COLLEGE Ditchling Rd & Viaduct Rd, built in 1854 and requisitioned by the government in 1939.

In 1939, funding was withdrawn from the Diocesan Council. The Brighton Diocesan Training College was one of three colleges selected for closure and was put up for auction. The building was requisitioned by the government and became the Pay Office for the Royal Engineers under the Ministry of Defence until 1987. The big houses were also rented out to the army.


Between 1945 and 1976

In 1945, the Colbatch-Clark family made a proposal for the whole estate to be developed as private apartments. A similar plan materialised, though the development was for Council housing.

The site of the four large villas was compulsorily purchased by Brighton Corporation in 1945 and from 1948 the current Sylvan Hall was developed.

Rosehill Villa (Hill Lodge) was demolished in 1948, Wakefield Lodge in 1951 and Sylvan Hall in the mid 1970s.

As these old houses were removed, blocks of two and three storey flats were erected, and the first of these were occupied early in 1951.

See The weblog of today's Sylvan Hall Residents' Association. The Estate as we see it today was completed in 1976.

This page was last updated by Ted on 03-Apr-2023
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