Wednesday, 9 October 2013

10 Temple Titbits

 A random selection of facts about the Street culled from here and there…

1 The land on which Temple Street was built was previously farmland, and is named after The Temple on Montpelier Road, home of property developer and politician Thomas Read Kemp  (1782 – 1844). It now houses the Brighton and Hove High School.

The Temple, built in 1819. Thomas Kemp moved out in 1827, after which The Temple became a boys' school

2 The deeds of the dwellings in the street prevent the occupants from running a disorderly house (According to Wikipedia: a charge of keeping a disorderly house is the typical charge against one accused of maintaining a brothel, and as brothel-keeping is one of the most common causes for the charge of keeping a disorderly house, "disorderly house" is something of a euphemism for brothel in the English legal community).

A Disorderly House
3 At number 12, which had a passage through to Borough Street, horses were not allowed to be kept. There used to be horses in Borough Street. People who once lived at number 12 suggested, ‘if you keep our horses, we could run your disorderly house’. By the 1890s the passage led directly into the Borough Tavern, a small pub that used to trade at 39 Borough Street.

4 There were a number of wells in the street. If a householder finds one it has to be reported it to the council. About 30 years ago, when number 4 was being renovated, a 17th century well was found under the kitchen floorboards.

A useful well in the backyard
 5 According to a local historian, at some time during the 19th century, numbers 3, 4 and 5 formed one establishment used for training female domestic servants under the patronage of the Queen Dowager (Queen Adelaide 1792–1849). Number 33 was the Brighton Refuge for Destitute Females in the 1850s.

6 An organ builder lived and worked at number 3 and was reputed to build his organs in his cellar. Many of the early residents of Temple Street were dressmakers and milliners.

7 The street also housed a maker of cricket balls and Number 1 was a butchers during the 1920s. The cellar is sloping to drain off the blood.

8 Enid Gray, the Street’s eldest resident, whose life story you’ll find on this site, married into a family that had lived in Temple Street for generations. Her mother-in-law Winnie Whitlock was born in 1893 at no 46. Her father, William Mortimer Whitlock was living at 39 Temple St in 1891 (occupation ‘dancing master’) and in 1901 was a ‘decorative japanner’. Winnie used to go to school through a twitten opposite 37 Temple Street, to a school in Borough Street (just up from estate agents Fox and Son and now an office building).

St Stephen's Church of England School in Borough Street c1860
9 The corner shop opposite The Temple Bar, recently vacated by Classical Lighting – after possibly Brighton's longest ever closing down sale – has been a rather swish car showroom in its time.  It opened up as a branch of Caffynns in 1920. 

1924 – Caffynns car showroom on the corner of Temple Street and Western Road

10 There are six Grade II listed buildings in the street– – numbers 2, 29, 3, 4, 5 and 31.

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