Due to its easy proximity to London, about 60 miles south of The City on England’s south shore, East Sussex’s Brighton and Hove has long been home to both wealthy and creative type for centuries. Musicians—Adele, Fatboy Slim, Paul McCartney, Noel Gallagher, Nick Cave—and actors, including David Walliams and Sir Laurence Olivier, have all called the seaside resort home.
Built in the 1820s, known as Angel House and recently listed for sale at about $4.5 million, this exceptional townhouse is one of the best examples of Regency architecture in the area. Listed with Philippa Dalby-Welsh and Rohan Vines of Savills, the home has had its own brushes with notable occupants.
Known for throwing legendary parties attended by rock stars, including John Lennon, “The Avengers” actress Sidonie Bond owned the house in the 1960s. More recently, Nigel Richardson wrote the iconic book Breakfast in Brighton while living at the house in 1998.
Grandly positioned on the iconic Brunswick Terrace, Angel House was one of the first properties built by renowned architect Charles Brunswick. Constructed using some of the very best craftsmen of the day, the house was used as a show house for the rest of the development, which were originally sold as shells, making this house one of the first ever to be used as a marketing tool to entice buyers to a real estate development. Even today, the house includes original details not found in other local homes.
The lower ground floor of the building, as well as a small part of the ground floor, have been converted into four picayune flats measuring from just 304 to 483 square feet. Each has a tiny kitchen, a private bath and a separate entrance through a common hall. The property can, therefore, can be a moneymaker for those inclined to moonlight as an innkeeper.
The owner’s accommodation, on the other hand, spans a comfortable 3,816 square feet over four floors, with five bedrooms and four bathrooms. Views of the sea can be found everywhere from the house, along with the Angel of Peace memorial, the ruined West Pier, as well as the famed Brighton Pier itself, on which is a small amusement park. Both the owner’s unit and the rental flats have access to the planted courtyard garden.
A piece of Brighton’s history, the carefully restored property offers a rare combination of original features, voluminous internal space, and head-on sea views. There is copious Regency plasterwork throughout, painted white or gilded, as well as original box shutters on the tall sash windows. The original wrought-iron balustrade remains, as does some handsome mosaic stonework. There are also some features from later eras, such as the cream painted Anaglypta (linoleum-like wallpaper) and tiled fireplace from the 1900s.
The homeowner’s primary suite, which occupies an entire floor, includes a bed with a headboard surely inspired by Brighton Pavilion, as well as an enormous bath/dressing room with an old style canopy bath. There are three more bedrooms on the top floor, along with a couple of bathrooms, while a fifth bedroom with private bath is placed on a mezzanine level between the two floors that hold the home’s quartet of living and dining rooms.
Agent Phillippa Dalby-Welsh says, “We regularly hear how Georgian and Regency architecture is some of the UK’s best loved and this home features the grand proportions, symmetry and elegant details that one would come to hope for from a house of this era. And that is even before you start to mention the glorious sea views. This is possibly Brighton’s best town house, in the best location.”