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Hove History

From prehistoric settlement to 20th century resort and beyond, Hove’s history and character is brought to life through maps, photographs, objects and artworks from our collections.

Our local history gallery traces the growth of Hove from prehistoric times to the present day. We show how it evolved from a number of smaller, more prosperous communities to become a thriving Victorian new town and later – despite resistance from many fiercely independent residents – part of the 21st-century city of Brighton & Hove.


Original objects on display

The gallery is arranged chronologically and features a rich mix of material from our local history collections. Objects on display include coins and tableware found among the remains of a Roman villa at West Blatchington, early 17th-century plaster roundels from Portslade Manor, and a menu for the Mayor’s inaugural banquet in 1900. You’ll also find information about key sites in the local area, such as Hangleton Manor and Brunswick Town, and a glimpse of what life was like in Hove during the First and Second World Wars.

Changing architectural styles

If you’re interested in house history, our illustrated display charts the residential development of Hove from the 1820s to the 1990s. There are tips for anyone wanting to carry out their own research, and lots of examples of changing architectural styles. We also highlight Hove’s 20th century development as a resort, with new parks, leisure facilities and sporting venues, including the Sussex County Cricket ground.