Fiveways History


Harrington land to the north-west and north-east of the Fiveways junction became viable for housing development as the Stanford Estate rolled onwards and upwards. Between 1895 and 1904, Hythe, Sandgate, Ashford and Dover Roads, Osborne Road, Lowther Road and Hollingbury Park Avenue and Terrace were developed. So too was Hollingbury Road, the fifth and final route to the Fiveways junction. And, as these roads were being completed, more affordable, faster and impressively frequent electric tram services started operating to the dizzy heights of the Fiveways junction via Preston Drove and Ditchling Road.

Hollingbury Park was the third green space to be acquired, in 1901. It was Councillor Herbert Carden's first land purchase on behalf of Brighton Council. He famously reported, "I went up to London to buy a few acres of Hollingbury and when I got there I bought the lot!" As he lived in the area at this time he, like Blaker, undoubtedly had a personal interest in ensuring that some land remained undeveloped!

Who were the early settlers in the Fiveways area? The 1901 Census shows that most residents were working men and women in skilled or professional occupations. Notable from today's perspective is the healthy smattering of higher grade railway workers. Some heads of households were living on their own means. In most streets, around half the residents were born in Brighton or Sussex. A few were different: in Havelock Road, for example, 80% of the residents were not local but mainly from London and the rest of the south east. The typical household was 3.5 - 5 people and servants tended to live out.

Florence Road 

Both the development of the area and a Victorian and Edwardian national perspective are encapsulated in many of its road names. The first roads to be built reflect the influence of Vere Fane Benett-Stanford. He was MP for Shaftesbury at the time that Shaftesbury Road was being built. Semley Road was named after the village three miles from Shaftesbury, the location of Vere's family estate.

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