8 Medina Terrace

It’s no secret that Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour is in the process of restoring one of Hove’s most desirable seafront homes – 8 Medina Terrace. And I was lucky enough to be given a roof to basement tour by project consultant Neil England.

Medina Terrace dates from the 1870s and No. 8 consists of six storeys in total. It is Grade II listed and situated within the Cliftonville Conservation Area on an enviable corner plot extremely close to the sea. The building was previously home to Karron Eubank, ex-wife of boxer Chris.

Neil and I began at the very top of the scaffolding which surrounded the entire structure at that time. On the way up, I noticed an interesting detail. Most of the spindles on the staircase are wooden but, at strategic points, an equivalent metal item has been used in order to add strength.

Chimney stacks were being constructed during my visit which included the installation of brand new replica pots that had been fabricated at £400 apiece. No expense is being spared in getting this project right. I first met Neil when he built me a chimney at Osborne Villas around the corner and we now serve on the committee of the Regency Society together. On this particular project he is working with architect Ewan Stoddart from LCE (of Jubilee Library fame) along with building contractor John C. Lillywhite Ltd.

The airy top floor within the roof space opens out onto a terrace with views towards Worthing, Brighton and the South Downs. The roof itself is covered with Welsh slate, zinc and lead. Lightning conductors (necessary in such an exposed position) have been fitted to the chimneys and an array of solar panels sits on the highest point of the roof. The balustrades around the building have been reconstructed which gave Neil an opportunity to explain how hydraulic lime concrete was used. Lime, as opposed to cement, is used throughout the building though there is cement in the render.

8 Medina Terrace was once home to Captain and Mrs O’Shea (known as ‘Kitty’) whose troubled relationship made the headlines during the 1880s. Whilst separated from her husband, Mrs O’Shea began an affair with Charles Stewart Parnell, a hugely influential figure in Ireland. It was alleged that Parnell escaped down a rope ladder from a balcony on 8 Medina Terrace to avoid Captain O’Shea who had returned home unexpectedly.