History Of Fiveways 

Old Toll House 

Old Toll House, Ditchling Road. By Walter Puttick, 1892


Up to the later 1820s, the view in all directions from the junction later to become known as Fiveways was of large arable fields growing cereal crops. The rest was sheep down. The area was part of the ancient parish of Preston, much of which, from 1794, was owned by the Stanford famiy of Preston Manor. In 1838, landholdings within the parish were reorganised and the Harrington family of Nymans (now Nymans Gardens) took possession of land to the north west and north east of the current Fiveways junction.

For centuries, this junction was formed by just two ancient tracks - the north-south Ditchling Road and the Droveway, a route passing along the downland ridge from Shoreham. Part of Ditchling Road was turnpiked for about a century, and a tollgate at the Patcham/Preston parish boundary, near what is now Osborne Road, was removed in 1854.

After the 1838 land reorganisation a further track immediately to the north east of the Fiveways junction, roughly where Hollingbury Terrace is now, led to Harrington Farm. The farmhouse was on the site of what later became Hertford Road Primary School.

John Erredge, writing in 1862, lists an abundance of wild flowers growing on the banks and in the hedgerows of Ditchling Road, and on the eastern section of the Droveway - which was by now more commonly known as Preston Drove. Yet the view southwards from the Fiveways junction was gradually becoming more built up as neighbouring Brighton clamoured for more space. By the end of the 1860s, the more affluent parts of the Round Hill residential area had been established on the lower slopes and to the east of Ditchling Road. Stanford land north of Viaduct Road, which formed the boundary with Brighton, was now ripe for development.