Gardens & wildlife

Crescent Road

Princes Villa

The first building in Crescent Road was Princes Villa. It was built in 1866 for James Stapleton an eating-house keeper in North Road. The brick patched wall round the junction with Princes Road dates from then.

At first his oldest son, James Hasler Stapleton, lived there with his family. In the 1877 Richmond Road street directory, James Stapleton Senior is listed as living at 12 Richmond Road (now numbered 21) one of the semi-detached villas on the north side built in the 1860s) with the rev W.H. Crave-Brown.

Later, the older James moved in with his son at the Crescent Road Princes Villa and stayed there until his death in 1892. Cave Brown is on his own in the 1880 directory and gone from Richmond Rd by 1881.

Princes Villa was left to the two surviving sons: Charles Edward Stapleton, a jeweller in Black Lion Street, and Alfred, the licensee of The Victory Inn in Duke Street.

In 1895, Princes Villa was sold to William Bennet, a stonemason of 119 Lewes Road. He owned it for many years, but never lived there himself.

Around the turn of the century, Princes Villa became The Victoria Laundry, one of may in the area with stabling and a large piece of adjacent land for drying. The laundry changed hands three times in four years. 

When William Bennet died in 1924, his family began to sell parts of the garden as building plots, and four houses were built on the land.

The stable block became 36a Princes Road.

Princes Villa itself was then sold and the new owner converted it into two dwellings to rent.

In 1939 it was on the market again and was purchased by the Love family, who kept it for 20 years, but allowed it to fall into disrepair. In 1956, the Council ordered the south basement room to be closed for all purposes. 

After passing through other hands and being divided into four flats, a fire caused extensive damage in the mid 1980s.

36a Princes Road has had various uses since it was a stables:

1930 Franklin and Son - a wholesale haberdashery

1939 A garage until 1971

1971 Johnson's Joinery Works where cuckoo clocks were made.

 Late 1970s  Zebra Brakes

1983 Floline Trading (Plumbers)

         Afterwards, Albion (Plumbers)

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The 1880s saw houses on the east side of Crescent Road including J. Knight's General Shop at No. 3.

Princes Villa remained the only house on the west side of Crescent Road until the mid 1890s.

In 1897 see street directory the Primrose Laundry owned by William T. Tidey moved to 20 Crescent Road. Mr Tidey used to run the laundry at 10 Richmond Road.

By 1901 houses on the west side continued to no 68 owned by C H Pritchett, a coal merchant, house and general agent.

The 1901 Pike's Directory shows Mr F.S. Foster at no 28, owner of Tivoli Laundry. No. 28 was constructed between 1896 and 1897 by Messrs. Davey Bros. of Beaconsfield Road Brighton.

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When the houses were built

1866 2 Crescent Road.

1880 22-26 Crescent Road.

1880 1 Crescent Road. 1 shop

1880 3 - 9 Crescent Road.

1881 21 - 29 Crescent Road.

1881 31 - 37 Crescent Road.

1881 39 - 51 Crescent Road.

1881 53 Crescent Road.

1895 50-60 Crescent Road (3 houses).

1895 3 houses and a laundry (22 Crescent Road).

1896 22 Crescent Road. Stabling or laundry

1896 28 Crescent Road.

1896 32, 34 & 36 Crescent Road.

1902 15 & 17 Crescent Road.

1926 28 Crescent Road. Rifle range.

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This page was last updated by Ted on 21-Sep-2023
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