1-4 King’s Gardens

As the summer continues to impress – well, it does as I type – it seems appropriate that I look into a set of buildings that occupy one of the best positions for enjoying such beautiful weather. On the seafront overlooking the Hove Lawns with massive balconies – that’s the life!
Numbers 1-4 King’s Gardens in particular deserve a piece to themselves as they were built in a distinctly different style to the rest of the street and indeed the rest of what is known as the Stanford Estate (not to be confused with the Stanford council ward around Hove Park). The four detached mansions were built from 1889 in red brick with terracotta dressings which wasn’t quite what was originally planned. The whole area was to be built in the distinctive yellow brick of First and Second Avenues (common around Hove) but by the time the builders reached Third and Fourth Avenues, the uniformity was gone. In fact, a mirror image of King’s House (now the council offices) was to be built where 1-4 sit today.
Although this piece is specifically aimed at numbers 1-4, I should point out that King Edward VII visited the Sassoon family in No. 8 in 1907, 1908 and 1910, but more of that another time. Interestingly, there are no numbers 5-7. It was these visits that led to what was once part of Queen’s Gardens being renamed King’s Gardens, part of The Drive renamed Grand Avenue and Shoreham Road being renamed Kingsway. Slightly irrelevant, but whenever I walk along Kingsway, it amazes me that the beach huts were placed directly in the way of the view to the sea – a great spot for their owners I ‘m sure though!
Each building has four full storeys with basements and roof rooms. Only No. 4 resembles its original form as 1-3 have been rendered and painted in pinks and white. They have all been divided into flats with some rather bizarre consequences. For example, a window on the side of No. 2 is now a cupboard on the inside! They were Grade II Listed in November 1992 and many of the best features, such as the mosaic-floored hallways, have survived.
With flats worth around £550,000 and rents up to £2500 per month, King’s Gardens remains as exclusive as ever. As far as summer accommodation goes, they are unbeatable – I just wouldn’t want to live there in the winter.