Cambridge Grove

Hove is blessed with some of the finest hidden mews streets in the country.

Some of these hidden former stable streets are cul-de-sacs, such as Namrick Mews, Albany Mews and Victoria Grove. I love to vary my route whenever I walk anywhere though so I am particularly fond of those which are through roads, like Queen’s Place, Wilbury Grove and Cambridge Grove, the topic of today’s column.

Cambridge Grove is now in the third phase of its development. Its 1880s stables were gradually converted into car garages from the 1920s. These are now, in turn, being transformed into homes and offices.

I was recently shown No. 14 by Steven Sparks who has converted, with the assistance of local architect John Turner, a pair of run-down garages with a flat above into two new self-contained three-bedroom houses. The exterior has been completely overhauled which has involved returning one of the original windows back to its original size and position, and removing fake shutters. The generous height of the downstairs ceilings is unexpected. This, combined with bright white paint and huge windows, makes for a most illuminating experience. The two are now for sale with Mishon Mackay.

Another interesting structure is No. 1b, or ‘The Edge’ as it is also known. This modern property was designed by Simon Atkins and Giles Ing from Hove-based ABIR Architects. It was built in the back garden of 36 Cromwell Road, where cars parked previously, which opens onto the east end of the mews. The plot was once home to a conservatory; several of which still exist in their original form in the neighbouring properties. This is interesting in that it highlights that the stables on the south side of Cambridge Grove do not have rear windows. The Edge would no doubt have looked incredibly modern when it was completed in 2005, and it still stands out for all of the right reasons. A similar plot is now vacant on the west end of the street.

It is well known that people don’t look up when they walk along. But in the case of Cambridge Grove, this is perfectly acceptable as the purple cobbles, perhaps granite, do define the street. Nevertheless, looking above the stable doors at the original yellow and red Victorian brickwork is a treat too.

Brighton may well triumph when it comes to twittens, but Hove is without doubt king of the mews.