Mrs. Watts' laundry in Clifton Hill

By Steve Myall

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Mrs. Watts' laundry in Clifton Hill' page

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Mrs. Watts' laundry in Clifton Hill' page

This is the advert for the laundry service of Mrs. Watts, which appeared in Leppard’s 1839 Brighton Street Directory. In the advert her only address was ‘Top of Montpelier Road’, as the road had not been named Clifton Hill and its reference as the ‘Road to Blatchington’ was more of an identification than a name. The house, facing on the right side of the advert picture is 13 Clifton Hill today (see right), and apart from bay windows being added, its modern format is much the same. The position of the various outbuildings behind Mrs. Watts’ house is the present-day office site of Clifton Mews (see below right). In Mrs. Watts’ picture the distant windmill was Hodson’s Mill on the site of the later West Hill Road, and the land on the left of her picture is where Clifton Road now stands. 

This is the only known C19th engraved image of a house on the Road to Blatchington. Once Clifton Hill was named, sometime during the latter part of 1845, it continued across Montpelier Road until 1907, when the Brighton & Hove Herald reported that  ‘on the suggestion of Mr. Baldwin . . . the lower portion of Clifton Hill . . . is to be named Windlesham Avenue’.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Mrs. Watts' laundry in Clifton Hill' page

The developers of the modern Clifton Mews (illustrated right and situated behind numbers 13 and 15 Clifton Hill) were Old Temple Developments Ltd, a subsidiary of Sheraton Securities International plc, working in conjunction with the long established local builders, Rice & Sons Limited. The residential parts of the Mews, of which 13 Clifton Hill was a part, were sold in reasonable time, but the offices (shown in the illustration), officially opened to view during the week of October 14th 1985, proved more difficult to sell or let. Rice & Sons had become financially involved with this development, and the delay on the return of their investment was instrumental in this old Sussex firm sadly going out of business in 1986.

This page was added on 15/04/2011.

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