Royal Cricket Grounds, Brighton


Steel engraving published by W Leppard, East Street, c1840.

This c1840 engraving of the Royal Cricket Ground shows the land on which Park Crescent now stands. On the left of the scene are the wall and high gateposts that still stand on the northern side of Union Road, which boundary wall is a listed structure today. On the right of the print are the Assembly Rooms which offered refreshment, together with reading and dressing rooms, and which made this venue one of the best in England. It was established as a cricket ground in 1823.

The building of Park Crescent, designed by A H Wilds, was started in 1849, when Wilds was 65 years old, and the present-day horseshoe of 48 houses was his last major development in Brighton. Wilds died in 1857 and Lavender Jones mentions that his obituary in the Brighton Herald only briefly records his architecture but that he ‘displayed great taste and judgement in laying out grounds’ and that the trees on the Level and the elms in Elm Grove were planted by him. This rather low-key statement on his career indicates that he was out of favour as an architect by the time he retired.

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Park Crescent and The Level

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