The council ward of Goldsmid stretches from Sackville to Dyke Road but the original land-holding, dating back to the 1700s, was much larger. The different styles of architecture, from the Art Deco Furze Croft block to Victorian Gothic mansions on The Drive, make Goldsmid a highly interesting place to stroll.
The Wick Estate was a large plot of land that was owned by the Rev. Thomas Scutt whose family had been the owners for several generations. Brunswick Town, to the east, was the first substantial development to take place. Charles Augustin Busby and Amon Wilds, who had recently started the construction of Kemp Town, were behind much of the design and building work. Most of it was complete by 1834, costing over £1/2 million, which was a huge sum in those days.
The remainder of the Wick Estate, including St. Ann’s Well Gardens and the Chalybeate Spa, was purchased in 1830 by Sir Isaac Lyon Goldsmid. Work began that same year on a new development consisting of Palmeira Square and Adelaide Crescent to the west of Brunswick Town. The architect was Decimus Burton, who had recently been responsible for planning Hyde Park in London. Palmeira Square commemorates Sir Isaac Lyon Goldsmid, who was the first Jewish baronet and also held the title Baron de Goldsmide da Palmeira that was granted to him by Portugal after settling a dispute between that country and Brazil. Adelaide Crescent of course commemorates Queen Adelaide. Burton also completed the original Wick Hall for the Baron in 1838. Look out for ‘Baron Goldsmid’ on the front of Bus 850 around town.
Quite a number of the roads in the eastern part of Hove are named after those close to the Baron and the Jewish community is still well represented in this area. Montefiore Road, Davigdor Road, Julian Road and Osmond Road were named after Jacob Motefiore, Count Henry D’Avigdor, Sir Julian Goldsmid and Sir Osmond Elim D’Avigdor-Goldsmid respectively. The original Wick Hall was demolished after the council were not imaginative enough to find a suitable use.
From my political and property dealings, boy could I tell a few stories about this area. I wouldn’t dare to bring up the tale of the property surveyor caught frolicking naked in the grounds of the present day Wick Hall with one of the leaseholders by other residents – probably because his firm is one of this magazine’s biggest clients!