Archive for June 2015 – Page 2

A Celebration of Heritage

The Mayor of Brighton and Hove, Cllr Brian Fitch, accompanied by the Mayoress, Mrs Norah Fitch, attended an evening hosted by BHT Heritage at St Stephen’s Hall in Montpelier Place, to celebrate the building’s history.

A Celebration of HeritageGuests heard talks about St Stephen’s Hall and Brighton’s rich architectural history by heritage experts Nick Tyson, Curator at The Regency Town House, Dr Tracy Anderson, Post-doctoral Researcher at The Royal Pavilion and Sara Peskett, BHT’s Heritage Officer.

The evening, which included a three course meal prepared by BHT’s social enterprise and training project, Dine!, was attended by 35 guests, including Baroness Gould of Potternewton, former Member of Parliament, David Lepper, and councillors.

It was very interesting and a lovely atmosphere. The building is magnificent

This is a fantastic building – part of Brighton’s Regency heritage – but it is not just a pretty face – it serves a valuable purpose as a lifeline to so many people

The Keep Archive Research Workshop

Last month clients of BHT visited The Keep Archive in Falmer to further explore the fascinating hidden history of St Stephen’s Hall.

The Keep Archive The Research workshop included a behind-the-scenes tour, an introduction to using The Keep catalogue and an opportunity to view original documents relating to the building’s heritage.

During the tour clients entered the temperature-controlled repository block which has capacity for 10 miles of racked archives and holds records dating back over 900 years. Isilda, our guide, explained that technology is changing and many records are now held on micro-fiche or micro-film, to enable quicker and easier access to documents but also to conserve space.

Later in the session clients examined original sources, including maps, plans, photographs and letters. Amongst the documents were letters from John Crunden, architect of St Stephen’s Hall when it was built in 1766 as a ballroom, to Samuel Shergold, owner of the Castle Tavern. Additionally, we viewed documents relating to the development of the Royal Pavilion estate, and a scrapbook belonging to Frank Tredgold, organist at St Stephen’s between 1881-94, which contained concert programmes and newspaper reports.

The Keep ArchiveWe also explored two plans for structural adjustments to St Stephen’s Hall; the first was the proposed design for the addition of a porch, which was approved on 19th September 1866, and a second plan for the addition of a vestry to the east wall, which was approved on 17th November 1869. Interestingly, the plan for the porch included upper-level windows to the street façade, which were never implemented.

Clients also enjoyed cross-referencing maps from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s with trade directories to investigate whether their addresses were ever used for business-purposes, and who resided there. From the 1898 directory one client identified that his address was used as a school, another found out that the shop below his flat was a greengrocers (now an off-licence) and we also discovered that a section of The Monty Pub, opposite First Base Day Centre, had been a bakery.

Really really interesting. Would be worth another visit