Chapter 6:



and Rebirth.

ABOVE: This photo shows the majority of the overall site of The Works and the Goods Yards in 2005, cleared for redevelopment. (The curve of the picture is artificial as the photo is a panoramic composite of 12 different photos taken at intervals through roughly 180 degrees!) The whole site, once cleared, effectively provided a huge clean slate for developers and gave grounds for a huge amount of speculation, perhaps a little worry, but more commonly the usual array of daft and (more often than not) totally inappropriate building designs. There have been mentions of an on-site power station and a huge skyscraper with 30-mile visibility to name but a few. One thing that is for certain is that the site of Brighton Works and The Upper & Lower Goods Yards will change beyond all possible recognition. Author’s collection



ABOVE: These two aerial photos show the entire Station and Railway Works Site in the early 1990s. The ramp to the original car park is clearly visible on both photos, as is the swathe of greenery around the boundary where the path of the track bed to the Lower Goods Yard ran.

ABOVE: This photo shows the entire site as it appeared before any notion of redevelopment had yet to surface. Points of interest on the photo that are covered in detail in this chapter are (in no particular order):

Harvest Forestry (bottom left of photo), along with the coal yard

The access ramp to the car park (top right)

The bridge over the Lower Goods Line (top right)

Ffyfes Banana Warehouses (top right, behind the bridge)

The Pay Office and Works Entrance Footbridge (top left, above ramp)

The Car Park (top middle to left)

ABOVE: This plan shows what the redevelopment of the Brighton Works Site may eventually look like, including the Green Corridor which runs between the Station Building (top left) to New England Road (top right), which will be a sort of semi rural pathway and cycle lane combined, utilising the route of the original track bed of the Lower Goods Line, mentioned elsewhere in this chapter in greater detail.

BELOW: This picture shows an early artist’s impression of the finished City Point development. Whilst it bears little resemblance to the finished article in terms of colour or layout, it is clear to see that some of the early ideas lasted through to the final finished complex, for example there is a tower where the final tower now stands and the facia designs look as though they made it through onto some of the terraces around the new Sainsburys.


This picture (ABOVE) shows what the developers have in store for the site as a whole. The dark red areas centre-left labelled A, B, C & D are mentioned in depth in a later chapter, but are the bulk of the first part of the site to be redeveloped. This area, known as Citypoint, comprises housing as the greater proportion of overall site usage, some offices and retail units and a new Sainsburys superstore underneath it, shown in cross-hatched light blue. A surprising proportion of this site has been allocated to communal gardens (more of which later) and goes some way towards undoing the theme of blandness and sterile functionality which the New England Street area has suffered from over the last three decades. Part of New England Street is to be pedestrianised and traffic diverted west behind the area of Citypoint.

Area L & M are to become a College building and student accommodation, while the thin area across the road will be consigned to terraced homes and a development of offices at the southern end.

 Areas Q & R represents a low level dual storey car park which is key to the redevelopment of the entire site. Whilst only taking a fraction of the overall site, this one building holds almost as many vehicles as the car park it replaced, freeing up valuable space for other development. It has been proposed that the weekly Sunday market will be able to use the top storey, as it originally used a significant proportion of the old car park. The Station Building, railway lines  and New England & Mocatta Houses can be seen at the top left of the picture and London Road runs left to right across the bottom.  The blue and pink cross hatched triangle in front of Q/R will be a hotel.

Areas E & F will eventually become “One Brighton”, another development of terraced homes and flats, similar to Citypoint, bordering New England Street.


(ABOVE:) This picture shows the whole of the area to be redeveloped as it appeared in 2002, outlined in red. The area outlined in blue shows the extent of the area to be demolished and / or landscaped. The curve of the old car park access ramp can be clearly seen just to the right of the centre, along with the Pay Office and the Footbridge which were the main access to The Works Complex. As well as simple demolition, several of the roads around the site were developed or reshaped.

A lot of the through routes from London Road received treatment to lead the eye into the architectural styles which would be employed in the new developments (three in all seen at the bottom of the map).

ABOVE: This photo shows the site, as the date shows, in September 2005. The majority of City Point is nearing completion, but Sainsburys and the triangular tower in the centre of the photo still have a long way to go. The large cleared patch just up from the centre of the photo will eventually become the Language College and the Jury’s Inn Hotel.


Part 1:



Since the demolition of The Works, little had changed on the site that is notable, until 2003-2004 with the current overall site redevelopment into City Point and The New England Quarter. A lot of the site became derelict in the 1970’s and was signed over to uncontrolled vegetation.

An entrance ramp to the car park (built on the majority of The Works site) was built in the 1970’s across the path of the Lower Goods Line. This ramp adjoined Cheapside just opposite Blackman Street. In the last 20 years (1983 to 2003) the area around the Cheapside end of this access ramp had been consigned for the most part to used car dealerships and vehicle compounds for car parking companies.


TOP LEFT & RIGHT: These 2 photos show the area where the ramp would have joined Cheapside, just opposite Blackman Street. In the left hand photo, the site has been cleared and leveled ready for the Citypoint development. In the right hand photo, the ramp can be seen very clearly rising up to the point where it crosses the trackbed of the Lower Goods Line. Note all the used car dealerships in the foreground and harvest Forestry at the bottom left hand corner.

BOTTOM LEFT & RIGHT: These 2 photos show the area in the centre of the top left hand photo in more detail - an abundance of used car dealerships littered this area. Oddly enough, Isetta Bubble cars were once assembled on this site and manufactured in The Works towards the end of its working life.

While this ramp was still in use, observers could make out (to the east of the bridge) the track bed of the Lower Goods Line as far as Old Shoreham Road and could clearly see a variety of outbuildings behind the Fyffe’s Banana warehouse, including the staircase to the original pay office: the main entrance to the site.

ABOVE: These three photos show the signing office and  access walkway over the Lower Track Bed that was the original main enterance to The Works Buildings. The middle photo is owned by The Isetta Owners Club and appears here for comparative research purposes only.

To the west of the bridge the area was mostly overgrown, but part of the area previously consigned to the coal yard was used for car parking, aggregate and permanent way storage and in later years (2000 – 2004) the immediate coal office and yard were used by Harvest Forestry as a small garden and organic centre. At odd intervals, the remains of the walls of buildings punctuated the site. These appear to have been used to provide the boundaries of car parking areas and small businesses.

ABOVE: CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Harvest Forestry extensively customised and took over this little coal office around 2000. The minarets are recovered from Brighton's Palace Pier Theatre. In the back end of 2003, demolition of the site commenced and the building was knocked back to just its outer walls. The site was totally levelled and the boundary walls demolished in this rather bleak shot from early 2004, due to a massive change to the road layout in the area. In the next shot from the mouth of Blackman Street, we can see the corner plot previously occupied by Harvest Forestry starting to take shape, the finished buildings are seen in the image bottom left.


One particular area bound in this style provided temporary parking for the New England House offices. This was originally in the area bound by Trafalgar Street Arches, the east side of the station and the car-park access ramp.

The warehouses which had stood to the south of the Lower Goods Yard (now in the present day area bound by Whitecross Street, Trafalgar Street and Trafalgar Street Arches) were gradually cleared between 1970 and the present day. Most have been lost to City College (formerly Brighton College of Technology), the DVLA building and small factory units and offices in the area between Whitecross Street and Station Street.


ABOVE: THEN & NOW: There used to be some amazing old warehouses in the streets between Trafalgar Street and Cheapside, particularly around Station Street, Whitecross Street and Blackman Street. The entire area between Whitecross Street and Station Street has changed beyond all recognition, as illustrated in the modern day views.

LEFT: Station Street: May's is still on the corner and the modern GB carriers warehouse can be seen in both views, but the embankment and arches underneath that formed the base for the majority of the Lower Goods Yard has become Trafalgar Place, as seen underneath in the modern shot.

MIDDLE: Blackman Street: The warehouse and houses in this photo all disappeared with the construction of the highrise block Theobald house and the subsequent car park underneath it. Note that the modern day photo is lookingsouth-west, rather than north-west.

RIGHT: Cheapside /  Pelham Street / New England Street: Again, the angle is 90 degrees due south, but illustrates the change in the area quite well.

 The 3 left top photos are part of the Regency Society's James ray Collection, an incredible and totally indespensible archive of old photos of Brighton as it was.

In the late 1990’s the station was completely refurbished and the roof literally rebuilt. Access to the station from the London Road side was improved (but still used the access road to the ramp described earlier). The access road for the most part was virtually single track with passing places and would never really be adequate for such an important station. Perhaps this provided considerable impetus to redevelopment plans. A drop-off point was constructed where the old Kemptown departures platform was, but little changed in the car park area besides this.

ABOVE: This view shows the drop-off point next to the station. The frontage of the station shown here would originally have been the platform for Kemp Town departures, the track running right to left, left being the end of the platform and the station forecourt. Note the newly constructed multi storey car park on the right, completed early 2005. This one building, whilst a fraction of the size of the original car park, holds almost as many vehicles and was a key component to freeing up land for the proposed developments.

A lot of the site of the Goods Yard was built on in the early 1990’s when New England House and Mocatta House were both built (this is the area around Trafalgar Place). However, there are odd glimpses of the site’s past even though the overall site has changed beyond all recognition. For example, if one were to walk down Trafalgar Street and turn left after St. Martin’s Vintners, the white walled building on the corner of Station Street has ceramic tiled panels on the wall, proclaiming that it was an iron foundry and engineering shop.




3 PHOTOS ABOVE: A tantalising glimpse of the past! These 3 photos show a building on the corner of Trafalgar Street and Station Street, originally known as May's. This building has some fantastic tiling around the ground floor windows, which give a vivid insight into the building's past, even in the present day. The area of Trafalgar Street presents an amazing mix of architectural styles (many are a hangover from the railway era), combining Victorian and Edwardian, plus more contemporary styles right up to the cutting edge buildings of today.


Part 2:


Determining the

site history:


Method and


 Little glimpses of the past, mixed in with new buildings and the promise of state of the art redevelopments mean that it would be extremely difficult to provide an overview of how the site has changed as a whole over the duration of its life. No one building will have a similar history to the adjoining building at the best of times, and this site is absolutely no exception.

As a result, in order to outline the changes to the site, it will be necessary to present a timeline for each building or group of buildings, old and new maps of the location, old and new photos and details of usage including names adopted by different owners for the duration of the building’s life where possible, but for the most part focusing on the period of 1970 to the present.

As a result of a stagnant period during the 1980’s and 90’s, areas of the site will have become fairly inaccessible, so the periodical development of some areas will have to include some approximation based on site visits and photographs taken at a specific time.


ABOVE: This map has been coloured to show what remained of The Works site as at 2003, relative to the site as it was at its zenith. The red areas are structures, which are still in situe, and either accessible or derelict, the blue areas are accessible with relative ease and the green areas are derelict and inaccessible. Whilst the boundaries of the areas are accurate and have been surveyed on foot, the extent of the inaccessible areas is largely unconfirmed. Note that the site has been cleared in its entirety since 2003.

ABOVE: This plan shows boundary walls, structures and earthworks on the site that remain unaltered as at 2003, shown in red. The majority of this site was taken up by small used car dealerships, the coal office (bottom right) was used by Harvest Forestry and the area below the Fyffe’s building was used as a car park for Clifford’s and the post office until 2005. The Fyffe’s buildings themselves contained (from top of map): John’s Camping, Martha’s Barn Furniture and Clifford’s Auto Factors. All were demolished in 2005. In 2006 none of the layout shown is still in situe, save for the road at the top right (although now massively altered). This was New York Street, later New England Street.

ABOVE: This map shows the site as it appears in 2006. The entire car park has been removed and replaced with a multi-storey car park (more of which later), Billington Way (the unnamed curved road between New England Street and Station Street) is now the principle through route as the southern end of New England Street beyond York Hill has now been narrowed and pedestrianised. The ‘J’ shaped road leading from the station is Stroudley Road.

The New England Street / Billington Way junction has been built on the site of the old Fyffe’s Warehouse. A new Sainsburys superstore and offices are being built at the apex of the junction and the frontage to New England Street is now City Point (see proceeding photographs). The pay office and its staircase have been demolished in this map but it is pleasing to note that the majority of the Lower Goods Line track bed is still in place and undisturbed, along with the support pillars for the extension and the retaining walls for the upper level.

ABOVE: This map shows the site, as it would have appeared between 1980 and 2005, prior to redevelopment. Note the changes to the layout around Station Street. The car park (and later the drop off point’s) access ramp joins Cheapside just opposite Station Street.


Part 3:


Specific locations and

their development.

(Please be aware that this part of the website (seen below) is still in development - new grey underlined links will replace the black text as the components are completed. Please keep checking, though - this is a huge project and has taken some 16 years to produce so far!)




  •                        Coal Office & Harvest Forestry


  •                        Drop-off point, Upper and Lower Goods Yards, Trafalgar Place & Mocatta House.


  •                       Car-park & Works Building


  •                        New England Road, New England Tunnel and The Old Goods Bridge.