Early to mid C19 fly stables.
Reason for Listing
13A and 14 Stone Street, an early to mid C19 symmetrical rendered fly stables with haylofts over and projecting coach houses is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: their symmetrical plan is like a miniature country house stables layout applied to a commercial premises;
* Rarity of building type: fly stables were a type developed in Brighton in the early C19. No other purpose-built fly stables appears to be listed in Brighton or elsewhere in the country;
* Historical interest: originally built to serve wealthy visitors, as the area declined in status from the 1860s the stables served the more modest clients of boarding houses and lodging houses. These buildings provide rare evidence of horse drawn transport for poorer clients.
Until Regency Square was developed between 1817 and 1830 this area was open agricultural land known as The West Laines. The first reference to these buildings is in Kelly's Directory of 1845 where Henry Parker is listed as a Fly Proprietor. A "fly" was a particular type of horse drawn public transport used by the less prosperous middle classes according to Henry Mayhew (the C19 author and social reformer), for visits to the "theatre or opera or parties at night". The earliest use of this word in Brighton is in the "Brighton Perambulator" of 1818. An 1826 watercolour by Z. Levi shows a fly driving up Regency Square in the direction of this building. In 1854 the Stone Street buildings were owned by Jos. Miller and by 1885 (Paige's Directory) they were run by B. Hamelin, a fly proprietor, who closed his stable some time after 1900.
From about 1900 the premises were taken over by a building company which continued in business until the 1920s. Subsequently the buildings were used by a variety of businesses, including a fruiterer, a photographer, coal dealer, confectioner and later tea rooms, a business that continued until at least 1970.
The characteristic symmetrical outline with two end projecting coach houses, central yard and rear stabling with central coach house is shown on the 1877 25 inch Ordnance Survey map, is unchanged on the 1898 and 1911 versions and by the 1931 edition an extension has been added to the east of the western coach house.
MATERIALS: rendered, probably over bungaroosh (a material of lime mortar, flint rubble and other inclusions), with a slate roof and end rendered chimneystacks.
PLAN: symmetrical, comprising a two-storey range to the south with a central hayloft over the stables, coachman's accommodation accessed by ladder over the stables on the ground floor to the west and identical stable lads' accommodation accessed by ladder over the stables on the ground floor to the east. Attached to the north at each end are projecting single-storey carriage houses flanking the stable yard, which was originally enclosed by gates.
EXTERIOR: the south side consists of a symmetrical two-storey block with a central first floor wide hayloft opening with a wooden double door over a C20 cast iron casement window. This is flanked by wings with splayed inner corners, each with two window openings and central door openings, originally accessed by ladder. One of these window openings was enlarged and has a sash window with vertical glazing bars. One original pivoting sash survives to the east. The ground floors have cambered door openings in the splay but are otherwise covered by the end projecting single-storey carriage houses which have pedimented gables with kneelers. The eastern side has a C20 iron fire escape from the first floor. The east carriage house has plank double doors. The west carriage house has a C20 window in the gable end and the early C20 penticed extension has a C20 half-glazed door and window and the side has a further C20 window. The other elevations are concealed by adjoining buildings, except for the rear or north wall, which, where visible, is of two storeys rendered with no openings, except for a door leading into the former coach house of 19A Castle Street.
INTERIOR: the eastern carriage house has lost its lath and plaster ceiling and a thin softwood roof with ridge piece is exposed. There is narrow tongued and grooved panelling to the lower part of the walls and the rear wall is of C20 breeze blocks. The western carriage house was altered in the first half of the C20 with later partitions. Part of the original ground floor stables have a brick floor. There was no access to the upper floor.
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.