Longcroft: a history in postcards

J.B.Balley, ship builder and creator of Swiss Gardens built a grand house for himself in Longcroft field on the corner of Hebe and Southdown roads then later sold both to Edward Goodchild (previously landlord of Brunswick Arms) in the early 1860’s. As the main photo shows it became Queens School for girls and appears as such in the directories between 1920 and the start of WW2. The centre bay window column was added after 1898 – the rest of the houses up Southdown Road are out of shot to the right. You can just make out the top of the greenhouse shown on the 1912 map.

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Swiss Gardens in 1858


Swiss Gardens in 1858

Shoreham’s Swiss Gardens as described in its heyday including the delightful sketches made at the time supplemented by further images from the collections of the Shorehambysea.com web site. The anonymous author of this article writes in typical Victorian journalese that is seemingly influenced by Charles Dickens’ comic descriptions of people and their names. He (the author) pokes fun at the people visiting the gardens (e.g., the British Sweetheart and his Adored One), the buildings and exhibits (the observatory looking like a “Brobdignagian wheat sheaf or stack of scaffold poles”; a museum of mixed early English with railway station architecture containing an uninspiring shark’s backbone and walrus tusk) but seems honestly impressed with other aspects such as the hot water laid on from spouts set into a wall, the slide shows, the commodious theatre and impressive gardens.

The beginning of this piece starts with Brighton but is also worth reading as it includes mention of Brighton personalities and places. It also includes an astute observation of the London trippers that came down by train for their day out looking for cheap entertainment (a description that rings true even now) and ultimately finding this at Shoreham.

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