Regency Town House

The Regency Town House is a Grade I listed historic town house,[2] now a museum, in Brunswick, an area of Hove in Brighton & Hove, East Sussex, England. The Regency Town House is located at 13 Brunswick Square near the beach in Hove. Brunswick Square forms part of Brunswick Town. The house was built in the 1820s.[2] It was designed in the Regency architectural style by Charles Augustin Busby.[2]

Regency Town House
The old kitchen at 10 Brunswick Square.jpg
The old kitchen at 10 Brunswick Square. It is part of The Regency Town House at 13 Brunswick Square. The kitchen is virtually untouched by time.[1]
Regency Town House is located in East Sussex
Regency Town House
Location in East Sussex, England
General information
StatusCompleted
TypeTownhouse
Architectural styleRegency
LocationBrunswick Square, Brunswick, an area of Hove in Brighton & Hove, East Sussex, England
CountryUnited Kingdom
Coordinates50°49′28″N 0°09′30″W / 50.8245°N 0.1583°W / 50.8245; -0.1583Coordinates: 50°49′28″N 0°09′30″W / 50.8245°N 0.1583°W / 50.8245; -0.1583
Completed1820; 202 years ago (1820)
OwnerNick Tyson
DesignationsGrade I listed
Renovating team
Other designersNick Tyson

The house is being restored by a team headed by Nick Tyson, a curator.[3] Two full-time members of staff are performing the restoration with a team of volunteers. They hope to transfer the building into a museum and heritage centre.[4]

DescriptionEdit

There is a dining room and a parlour on the ground floor. On the half-landing, there is a waiting room and a water closet. On the first floor are the drawing rooms. These rooms could be used separately, by using folding doors, or as one large party space. The upper storeys had bedrooms, these rooms now house the offices of the project. The basement was where the servants worked, with access from the front area and also behind through the stables.[5]

Part of The Regency Town House project is located at 10 Brunswick Square. This is the last intact basement in the Square. It provides an insight into servant life.[1] Visitors can walk down the stairs from the street to a front basement area that has a stone-flagged floor. There is a coal cellar under the street which would have provided the fuel for the fireplaces upstairs. Next to the coal cellar is a beer cellar. The first right on the right is the housekeeper's room, next to this is the wine cellar. It has double doors, the second is iron-lined. This acts as an extra precaution again theft from servants. Next is a servant's hall. Large in this house as there would have been 8-12 servants. The room overlooks a small courtyard. On the other side of this courtyard is the kitchen. It has a large skylight and it's said that its layout was influenced by the Prince Regent's famous kitchen at the Brighton Pavilion.[1]

Restoration projectEdit

In 1984 Nick Tyson, the owner decided to reassemble a whole 1829 terraced house in Hove's Brunswick Square. He first bought the basement flat. Then he bought the remaining flats as the other tenants left. He plans to restore the building as authentically as possible. Every detail will be restored authentically. It will be opened to the public. The period craftsmanship will be showcased this way.[1]

Tyson founded the Town House in the 1980s. After he discovered Regency-style architecture in the United States, he observed that Brighton and Hove's historic buildings were being converted with little care and attention, which concerned him. Tyson and his partner at the time bought the lease of an uninhabitable basement flat at 13 Brunswick Square and decided to take a year out to restore it before returning to the United States. However, leases of the other flats began to become available and Tyson could see the possibility of putting the house back together again.[6] The building started as flats and is now a complete house again.

In 1992 the Brunswick Town Charitable trust appealed to Brighton and Hove residents to help find fireplaces for the drawing room and a ceiling rose for the dining room that it hoped artists could replicate. The Trust's spokeswoman at the time said that they were 'at a standstill and not sure where to turn'. The plan was to photograph original fire places and ceiling roses and then to copy them for the Town House.[7]

The restoration work uses traditional techniques and materials where it is possible to do so. The Town House is being returned to its former glory with the help of a team of volunteers.[8] It is being slowly restored. Every tour and event which raises money means funds for more restoration.[9]

Layers of peeling paint have been removed. The mouldings and plasterwork had been repaired by experts in plasterwork. Analysis was carried out on finishes that were original to the property by paint expert Patrick Baty.[10] This information will be used to recreate decoration in other parts of the project. The goal of the Town House project is to offer complete access to all rooms in the house. The project would like the rooms to appear to as guests as they would have when the house was first occupied.[9]

Regular fundraising activities including Dine Like a Servant are held to support restoration of the townhouses.[11][12][13][14][15][16][17] The townhouses are also an exhibition venue and in 2018 held an exhibition by the artist Suzanne O‘Haire.[18]

FundingEdit

On the 17th December 2020 The Regency Town House was awarded an Art Fund Grant.

Councillor Mac Cafferty, representing Brunswick and Adelaide Ward at the time, commented:

"It’s a fitting tribute to the team of enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers, headed up by the tireless Nick Tyson, who have worked so hard to bring this project to life. The funding will provide a lifeline for the house which, like museums and art galleries across the country, has been severely affected by the current Covid crisis. The Regency Town House plays a crucial role in understanding the history of our city, as well as providing a unique and much-loved arts venue.”[19]

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Binney, Marcus (1998). Town Houses - Evolution and Innovation in 800 Years of Domestic Architecture. Great Britain: Mitchell Beazley. pp. 94, 95, 96, 97. ISBN 1840000295.
  2. ^ a b c Regency Town House, Brighton Festival
  3. ^ "The house that Nick restored". The Argus. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  4. ^ Fergar, Ellis (26 June 2018). "A window into the past— Regency Town House Hove". Title Sussex Magazine. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  5. ^ Antram, Morrice, Nicholas, Richard (2008). Brighton and Hove. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. p. 115. ISBN 9780300126617.
  6. ^ "Elaine Evans interviews - Nick Tyson". Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  7. ^ "Help replace part of history". The Argus. Retrieved 30 July 2022.
  8. ^ Fergar, Ellis (26 June 2018). "A window into the past— Regency Town House Hove". Title Sussex Magazine. Retrieved 30 July 2022.
  9. ^ a b Seymour, Ellie (2018). Secret Brighton. Versailles, France: Jonglez Publishing - travel guides. pp. 122–123. ISBN 9782361952648.
  10. ^ http://patrickbaty.co.uk/2010/12/08/brunswick-square-hove/. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ Rosemary (1 February 2019). "Dine Like a Servant at The Regency Town House". Rosemary and Pork Belly. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  12. ^ "Regency Town House serves up period dinner". The Argus. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  13. ^ Richard Vobes, Bald Explorer Podcast: Dine Like A Servant at the Regency Town House, retrieved 10 February 2019
  14. ^ "Dine Like A Servant | Brighton Info". interests.me. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  15. ^ Darren Menezes, Dine like a servant April 2018, retrieved 10 February 2019
  16. ^ Darren Menezes, Halloween Dine like a Servant 31 Oct 2018, retrieved 10 February 2019
  17. ^ Couchman, Paul. "How do you Dine Like A Servant? – Paul Couchman on Food and History". Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  18. ^ "Visit to Suzanne O'Haire: Peck O' Trouble | Blue Monkey Network". Towner Art Gallery. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  19. ^ "Funding boost for Regency Town House". www.brighton-hove.gov.uk. Retrieved 30 July 2022.

External linksEdit