A Tour of Round Hill - part 2

We continue our tour in Princes Road, halfway up the 1 in 12 hill starting at the with the northern end of Mayo Road. Today, there is a small cul-de-sac known as "The Copse" which starts numbers 50 and 52 Princes Road. On lower ground, to the east of The Copse is the most westerly section of Mayo Court's park. The southern boundary of The Copse leads in the direction of the villa at 21 and 23 Richmond Road, which was William Fisher's Golf Factory from the 1920s for a period of 50 years.

More about Mr Fisher's ownership and use of The Copse and 48 & 50 Princes Road from 1957 to 1985 is documented on page 17 of Rose Hill to Round Hill: a Brighton Community Brighton Publishing ISBN 1-901454-08-8.

Constructed in 1875, 48 Princes Road (now number 50), a flint-walled house with character, was built after Princes Villa (1866) and after the semi-detached house at nos 55 & 57 constructed in 1867. These early houses are roughly at the of Princes Road. The flint house, down the hill to the east, first appears in the 1880 Directory as to Mr John Cheal. The 1883 Directory is somewhat more as it remembers to list 55 Princes Road occupied by Mrs Scutt (laundress). By this time, the terrace beginning at 53 Princes Road, occupied by Mrs Hattelie (laundress), has already been . The 8-house terrace stretching from 39 to 53 Princes Road was constrcted by Marston and German. Records from "The Keep" mysteriously describe an 11-house terrace (I can't count so many houses!) dating from 27th November 1978.

The1883 Directory also shows Mrs Ann Cheal as the occupant of the flint house at 48 Princes Road - persumably her husband John has away.

The 1884 directory illustrates both the in house construction and the numbers of laundries in Princes Road. By 1891, there are 15 laundries in Princes Road.

By 1895, ownership of Hill Cottage (the flint house) has three times: first Mr Collins, then Mr John Simmons (laundry man) and Eva Simmons (laundress) and their 25-year old boarder Marian Brennan (laundress) and afterwards Mrs A. Richardson. She ran the downstairs part of the house as a , but also added another section (also in flint and with a gable) as a laundry.

This purpose-built extension now assumes No 48 while the original Hill Cottage becomes No 50 as shown in the 1895 directory. Note that No 52 Princes Road on the east side of the entrance to what is now "The Copse" is also a laundry. Mrs Lipscombe advertises herself as a laundress and lace-cleaner.

The laundries in Crescent Road do not arrive until 1898 an 1899. The 1898 Directory shows when William Tidey moves The Primrose Laundry from 10 Richmond Road to 20 Crescent Road. According to the publicity on the horse-drawn carriages pictured on page 40 of Rose Hill to Round Hill: a Brighton Community, The Primrose Laundry was in 1884. The 1899 Directory provides the first mention of F.S. Foster, owner of The Tivoli Laundry at 28 Crescent Road.

An 1890 Directory lists 19 odd-numbered homes already on the east side of Crescent Road, with Princes Villa as the only even numbered house - at 2 Crescent Road. There was therefore plenty of space for both the new laundries and new housing on the west side. The steep on the west side of Crescent Road probably made house construction more challenging.

However, the strip of land subject to recent development between Crescent Road and Belton Road represents the level in Round Hill, so it made very drying field. It was no coincidence that the Belton Road windmill was also on high ground.

The houses in Princes Road were the semi-detached ones numbered 55 and 57 at the summit of the which date from 1867 unless you count Princes Villa which was built in 1866 by James Stapleton , who appears in The 1871 census as aged 54 and living at 71 North Road where he was an eating-house keeper. Also in the 1871 census record are his 19-year-old son Charles (a jeweller) and his 16-year-old son Alfred (then a butcher, but read page 15 of Rose Hill to Round Hill: a Brighton Community to see the position he rose to in a different business ). The site of James Stapleton's eating-house at 71 North Road is now occupied by a bathroom tile supplier, not far from The Heart and Hand Public House.

The 1871 census also records the older of the eating-house keeper's sons, aged 31 and known as James H Stapleton, as living with Mary A Stapleton (aged 31) and their daughter Mary (aged 4) at Princes Villa to the of the junction of Princes Road and Crescent Road. Living in this house built at his father's expense, James H. worked as a paper hanger. He has a sister, Kate, who is also no longer living at the family eating house in North Road.

The stables originally belonging to the villa are now Albion Plumbing Supplies at 36a Road. The 1871 Census shows Princes Villa as being in Princes Road where it is unnumbered.

An 1881 Directory lists Princes Villa as being the property in Crescent Road, the occupant being James Stapleton . However, James Stapleton Senior probably had Princes Villa built with his own retirement in mind. The 1891 Census has him as aged 75 living with his 78-year-old wife (Jane) and their 46-year-old daughter Kate Patton at Princes Villa, now numbered 2 Crecent Road. The younger James having moved out, his father in Princes Villa 'Living On Own Means' until his in 1892.