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Unitary authority
Brighton and Hove

OS grid reference

Ceremonial county

Hove /ˈhv/ is a town on the south coast of England, immediately to the west of its larger neighbour Brighton, with which it forms the unitary authority Brighton and Hove. It forms a single conurbation with Brighton and some smaller towns and villages running along the coast. As part of local government reform, Brighton and Hove were merged, to form the borough of Brighton and Hove in 1997. In 2000, the new borough officially attained city status.


Hove is bordered by Brighton to the east and Portslade-by-Sea in the west, the distance between the boundaries being some 2.25 mi (3.75 km).

Pre-Roman evidence

During mid 19th-century building work near Palmeira Square, workmen levelled a substantial burial mound. A prominent feature of the landscape since 1200 BC, the 20 feet (6.1 m)-high tumulus yielded, among other treasures, the Hove amber cup. Made of translucent red Baltic Amber and approximately the same size as a regular china tea cup, the artefact can be seen in the Hove Museum and Art Gallery.

Domesday Book

There are entries for Brighton and Portslade (Bristelmestune and Porteslage) and small downland settlements like Hangleton (Hangetone), but nothing for the location of Hove itself.

Middle Ages and Renaissance

Hove is an ancient coastal settlement with St Andrew's Church being established in the 12th century. Hove remained insignificant for centuries, consisting of just a single street running north-south some 250m from the church, which by the 16th century was recorded as being in ruins. Hangleton Manor is a well-preserved 16th-century flint manor building. It is believed to have been built c. 1540 for Richard Bel(l)ingham, twice High Sheriff of Sussex, whose initials are carved into a fireplace, and whose coat of arms adorns a period plaster ceiling. The Manor is currently serving as a pub-restaurant and whilst it was once on open downland, it is now surrounded by the 20th-century Hangleton housing estate.

18th century

In 1723 a traveller, the antiquary John Warburton, wrote, 'I passed through a ruinous village called Hove which the sea is daily eating up and is in a fair way of being quite deserted; but the church being quite large and a good distance from the shore may perhaps escape'. However, The Ship Inn had been built at the seaward end of the street in around 1702.

In 1724, Daniel Defoe wrote in reference to the south coast, 'I do not find they have any foreign commerce, except it be what we call smuggling and roguing; which I may say, is the reigning commerce of all this part of the English coast, from the mouth of the Thames to the Land's End in Cornwall."

Regency and Victorian developments

The census of 1801 recorded only 101 residents. By 1821, the year the Prince Regent was crowned George IV, Hove was still a small village but the population had risen to 312. The dwellings were still clustered on either side of Hove Street, surrounded by an otherwise empty landscape of open farmland. This isolated location was ideal for smuggling and there was considerable illicit activity. Hove smugglers became notorious, with contraband often being stored in the now partially repaired St. Andrew's Church. Tradition has it that The Ship Inn was a favourite rendezvous for the smugglers, and in 1794 soldiers were billeted there. In 1818 there was a pitched battle on Hove beach between revenue men and smugglers, from which the latter emerged as the victors. As part of the concerted drive by Parliament to combat smuggling, a coastguard station was opened at the southern end of Hove Street in 1831, next to The Ship Inn.

Also at the bottom of Hove Street was the bull-ring. At a bull-bait in 1810 the bull escaped, scattering spectators before being recaptured and dragged back to the ring. This was the last bull-bait to take place in Hove.

The fertile coastal plain west of the Brighton boundary had significant deposits of brickearth and by c.1770 a brickfield had been established on the site of what would become Brunswick Square. Later, other brickfields were established further west, remaining until displaced by housing development.

In the years following the Coronation of 1821 the Brunswick estate of large Regency houses boasting a theatre, riding schools and their own police was developed on the seafront near the boundary with Brighton. Although within Hove parish the residents of these elegant houses studiously avoided the name of the impoverished village a mile to the west as an address. Straggling development along the coast loosely connected the estate to fashionable Brighton, so that name was used instead.

Dating from 1822, the Brighton to Shoreham turnpike crossed the north of Hove parish along the route of the present Old Shoreham Road.

The Brighton General Gas Light Company was formed in 1825. Although production of coal gas was notorious for the smell it produced, the company acquired land in the fields between Hove Street and St. Andrew's Church, and in 1832 built a gasworks on a two-acre site. The process required substantial tonnage of coal, delivered by horse-drawn cart on the unmade tracks in the vicinity, and removal of by-products including coke, coal tar, sulphur and ammonia. An industrial site such as this, with a tall chimney and two gasometers next to the churchyard was a considerable intrusion on the populace of Hove, but not for still-distant and rapidly growing Brighton, the main centre of consumption. Being situated in Hove it avoided the duty of £1 per 8 tons levied on coal by the Brighton Town Act of 1773. A gasworks built east of Brighton in 1819, and therefore similarly exempt, was supplied by sailing brigs grounding at high tide, the crew tipping the coal down chutes into horse-drawn carts then re-floating on the next tide. This method, inherently dirty and disruptive, would have been used at Hove until the arrival of the railway in 1840. By 1861 the site had doubled in size and there were now five gasometers, ranging in size from small to large. Due to spiralling demand a large new works was opened in Shoreham Harbour at Portslade-by-Sea in 1871, and by 1885 all gas manufacture in Brighton and Hove had been transferred there. The Hove site, in a by now primarily residential area, was then used for storage only.

By 1831 the development of the eastern end of the parish had increased the population to 1,360 but this brought few economic benefits to Hove village itself, with the historian Thomas Horsfield describing it in 1835 as 'a mean and insignificant assemblage of huts'.

St Andrew's Church was reconstructed and enlarged to its present form in 1836, to the design of the architect George Basevi (1794–1845), and features prominently in the background of paintings of the period. About this time, a very substantial and tall wall had been built between the churchyard and the adjoining gasworks.

The flat coastal plain had sporting uses too. From 1848 to 1871 England's oldest county club, Sussex County Cricket Club, used the Royal Brunswick Ground in Hove, situated roughly on the site of present-day Third and Fourth Avenues. In 1872 the club moved to the present County Cricket Ground, Hove.

Two further large estates were developed between Hove village and Brunswick, and both avoided using the name Hove: Cliftonville was designed, laid out and initially developed under Frederick Banister from the late 1840s; and West Brighton Estate in the 1870s.

West of Brunswick, the seafront of West Brighton Estate forms the end of a series of avenues, in numerical order beginning with First Avenue, mostly composed of fine Victorian villas built as another well-integrated housing scheme featuring mews for artisans and service buildings. Grand Avenue, The Drive, and the numbered avenues were developed through the 1870s and 1880s, with many of the buildings constructed by William Willett.

Hove's wide boulevards contrast with the bustle of Brighton, although many of the grand Regency and Victorian mansions have been converted into flats. Marlborough Court was once the residence of the Duchess of Marlborough, aunt of Winston Churchill. The Irish nationalist leader and Home Rule MP Charles Stewart Parnell used to visit his lover, the already married Kitty O'Shea at the house she rented in 1883 in Medina Villas, Hove. In the subsequent divorce action the cook alleged that Captain O’Shea returned home unexpectedly and Parnell beat a hasty retreat by climbing over the balcony and down a rope ladder.

The Hove Club, a private members' club located at 28 Fourth Avenue, was founded in 1882.

First World War

Over 600 men from Hove were killed in the First World War. After the armistice, the town established a war memorial committee to decide on commemoration of the dead. The committee commissioned Sir Edwin Lutyens, the architect responsible for the Cenotaph on London's Whitehall which became the focus of national remembrance services. Lutyens proposed a similar cenotaph for Hove and went as far as constructing a wooden mock-up which was displayed on Hove Lawns but the committee rejected the design. The eventual result was a statue of Saint George atop a column, situated in the centre of Grand Avenue. The memorial does not contain the names of the fallen, which are instead recorded on a bronze plaque in Hove Library.

Coat of arms

While it was still a separate entity, Hove had its own coat of arms. The escutcheon's official heraldic description is "Tierced in pairle: 1. Or a saltire azure voided argent; 2. Gules two pairs of leg-irons interlaced argent; 3. Checky or and azure three martlets or, all in a border ermine charged with six martlets or". The design incorporates several features relevant to Hove's history. The ships of the French raiders who repeatedly attacked the coast in the Brighton and Hove area in the 16th century are represented by the crest. The saltire of Saint Andrew and the leg-shackles of Leonard of Noblac refer to the ancient parish churches of Hove and Aldrington, St Andrew's and St Leonard's respectively. William de Warenne, 1st Earl of Surrey held land in the Rape of Lewes at the time of the Norman Conquest including the territory covered by Hove; his colours were blue and gold, represented by the chequerboard pattern in the background of the shield.


The town centre received substantial renovation in the late 1990s when the popular George Street was pedestrianised. Some concern about the pedestrianisation and its impact (supposedly killing trade) was expressed by residents, the local newspaper The Argus, and small locally owned shops. However these fears proved unfounded. These small shops have recently been joined by the centre's first large supermarket (a Tesco), built on the site of a former gasometer in what has traditionally been an area populated by small locally owned businesses and smaller branches of national chains and large industrial gasometers.

Companies based in Hove include Palmer and Harvey, the UK's largest distributor of snack foods and owner of the UK Mace convenience store brand.


Hove has a comprehensive public transport system including buses to all districts, a bus monitoring system accessible via the internet and with displays at some bus stops (a system integrated with Brighton), and taxis which are able to pick up across the city of Brighton and Hove.

Hove has three railway stations. Hove railway station has direct access to the Brighton main line to London via a loop eliminating the need to go through Brighton. Hove is on the West Coastway Line, as are Aldrington and Portslade and West Hove stations. A 'halt' stop at Holland Road, between Hove and Brighton, was in operation from 1905 to 1956. Direct train journeys to London take just over an hour, and to Brighton, a few minutes.

Branching off close to Aldrington was formerly a branch line to Devil's Dyke which closed in 1938. The route of the line may be followed along a path alongside West Hove golf club; the path leads all the way to Devil's Dyke, and railway sleepers once used under the tracks may be seen to either side of the path, plus the remains of two of the stations still exist in places but are on private land.

Hove Museum and Art Gallery houses a permanent collection of toys, contemporary crafts, fine art and local history artefacts, as well as holding temporary exhibitions of contemporary crafts.[1]


Hove is home to around seven primary schools: West Blatchington Primary and Nursery School, St. Andrew's CE School, West Hove Junior School, Benfield Junior School, Goldstone Primary School, Hangleton Junior School, Cottesmore St Mary's Catholic School, Mile Oak Primary School, Sommerhill Junior School as well as Aldrington CE School There are four secondary schools serving the area: Blatchington Mill School, Cardinal Newman Catholic School, Hove Park School and King's School.

Brighton, Hove and Sussex Sixth Form College (BHASVIC), formerly Brighton, Hove & Sussex Grammar School, is a dedicated place of further education, along with the Connaught Centre, Hove Park Sixth Form Centre and Blatchington Mill Sixth Form College.

Brighton is also home to private colleges such as Hove College Founded in 1977, Hove College is a non-profit private higher education institution and offers accredited courses by OCN London Hove College neighbors with British Study Centres and kindergarten schools. Hove College is 5 to 10 mins of walking distance from Palmeria Square.

Hove is also the location of a number of independent schools including Deepdene School, Lancing College Preparatory School, The Montessori Place, The Drive Prep School and St Christopher's School. Hove is also home for several schools for foreign students of the English language.

Sport and leisure

The home of Sussex County Cricket Club is at County Cricket Ground, Hove. It is used for county, national and international matches, music concerts, fireworks displays, and has found resurgent popularity with the introduction of Twenty20.

Until 1997 Hove was home to the Brighton & Hove Albion F.C.'s Goldstone Ground. In September 2007, planning permission was confirmed for the club's new ground, at Falmer, still within the city limits but on the Brighton side. The new stadium started development in late 2008, with the first game being played in August 2011.

Brighton & Hove Hockey Club is a hockey club and its home ground is based in Hove.

There are a number of parks in Hove including Hove Park and St. Anne's Well Gardens. The King Alfred Centre which is currently a leisure centre with swimming pool and a couple of gyms on the seafront. In March 2007 Brighton and Hove City Council gave planning permission for a £290 million pound development designed by Frank Gehry. This project was scrapped in January 2009 when the developer pulled out.

The Monarch's Way long-distance footpath threads south-eastwards across the town from the Downs, before heading west along the seafront towards its terminus at Shoreham-by-Sea.

The Hove Lagoon Model Yacht Club was formed in 1929 and still very actively sailing model yachts on the lagoon today. There is also sailing and windsurfing on the lagoon.

Hove, actually

A well-known reply by residents of Hove, usually humorous, when asked if they live in Brighton is "Hove, actually" thus maintaining a distinction with their less genteel neighbour. One source has identified the locally resident actor Laurence Olivier (who lived in Brighton) as the origin of the phrase. In the 1990s the Hove borough council used the slogan "Hove, Actually" to promote the town for tourism.


Climate in this area has mild differences between highs and lows, and there is adequate rainfall year-round. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfb" (Marine West Coast Climate/Oceanic climate).


Hove Wikipedia

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