Possibly built as a house in the 1770s but in commercial use (as a linen drapers) from the 1790s, refurbished in the 1820s and with rear staircase addition of 1850s.
Reason for Listing
15 North Street is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: a small circa 1770 property constructed of local materials with original window openings to the upper floors;
* Interiors: retains the original staircase from first to second floor and re-sited original staircase between ground and first floor, panelling of various patterns, room partitions, doors and door architraves, cupboards and fireplace with cast iron range;
* Plan form: the original plan of one large and one smaller room on each floor with rear staircase survives, modified only by the addition of a rear mid C19 staircase extension;
* Historic interest and rarity: documented in commercial use by 1799, early and rare both nationally and locally;
* Subsidiary features: the 1830s or earlier brick paving and gully in the enclosed yard or twitten is a rare pre-1840 example of street furniture;
* Group value: groups with two listed properties on the other side of North street and with Puget's Cottage;
* Degree of survival: substantially intact externally, the original plan form is readable and many interior fittings survive.
15 North Street was probably built in the 1770s and may have been built on part of the garden of an earlier property situated to the south-west, shown on Budgen’s 1769 map. 15 North Street is not shown on this map but by Yeakell and Gardner's 1779 map and Sicklemore's map of the same year this part of North Street is already shown as developed. It may have been built as a residence originally but it was already in commercial use by 1799 and continued to be in use by genteel trades associated with Brighton’s growing expansion and prosperity as a resort. The ceiling of the ground floor was raised for a commercial use. Probably in the 1850s the ground floor staircase was re-sited, in a purpose-built rear staircase addition.
In 1799 the building is listed in the street directory for Brighton as occupied by William Newbold, a linen draper. Baxter’s 1822 Directory shows Robert Hacker, Cutler operating here. The Brighton Directory lists its use in 1845 by Edward Stone as a French Stay Depot, confirmed by Folthorpes Directory of 1848. Folthorpes lists Sara Stone, Staymaker there in 1850 and 1852 and Taylors Directory of 1854 lists Sara Stone recorded as a corset maker. By the 1871 entry in Pages Directory the building is occupied by John Johnson, Boot and Shoe Maker. Pages Directory of 1880 lists S. Michener & Co, Paper Hangers, Painters, House Agents etc. By the 1914 Pikes Directory, Salmon and Gluckstein Tobacconists occupy the premises, mentioned also in 1930 and by Kelly’s Directory in 1938. In 1949 Kelly’s Directory lists Fleet Electrics and in 1972 Lobb, a dealer in Lady’s Handbags. By 1974 the building was incorporated into Hanningtons department store. In 2013 it was in use for shoe and watch repairs and key cutting.
DATE: 1770s, refurbished in the 1820s and with rear staircase addition of 1850s.
MATERIALS: front wall constructed of timber but hung with mathematical tiles, circa 1820, which have been painted. The other walls are rendered, probably over bungarouche (a typical Brighton material used from the mid-C18 to mid-C19, consisting of whole or broken bricks, flints, pebbles, pieces of wood and other materials shuttered in hydraulic lime and rendered on the exterior). Slate roof with mansard to rear.
PLAN: originally three storeys with one large front room and a smaller rear room to each floor, and a mansard roof of two parallel ranges. Circa 1820 the mansard roof was removed from the front range and probably in the 1850s the ground to first floor flight of the staircase was re-sited at the rear in a purpose-built addition to provide more ground-floor accommodation for trading.
EXTERIOR: the front or north-east elevation has a parapet with brick modillion cornice, reduced in depth by the later hanging of mathematical tiles. The second floor has a mid-C19 sash with vertical glazing bars in a circa 1830 surround. The first floor has a C20 window in an earlier surround. The ground floor has an early C20 shop front with a heightened fascia. The south-east side is rendered. The south-west or rear elevation has a flat-roofed dormer in the mansard roof and the projecting flat-roofed staircase extension has a 4-pane mid-C19 sash window and a plain entrance below. The narrow passage attached on the south-east and south-west sides has circa 1830 or earlier brick paving and a gully.
INTERIOR: the staircase from ground to first floor is probably the original one, re-sited to the rear, but with mid-C19 turned balusters and newel post. A cast iron column, probably from Palmer's Foundry in North Road, supports the original rear wall. The front first-floor room has elaborate wall panelling, fielded with corner leaf decoration, interrupted by the raised floor of circa 1820. An adjoining cupboard has a door architrave with a reeded pattern. There is plainer fielded panelling to the staircase partition on the first floor. The half-winder staircase from first to second floor is the original one with a mahogany handrail and stick balusters, and is accessed through a four-panelled door. The second floor has further fielded panelling to the staircase partition and the front room has internal horizontal wide weather boarding to the front wall. The window architrave is of circa 1820. There are wide floorboards and a narrow cupboard with shelves and a ledged door. The rear second-floor room has a door architrave and panelled partition. The basement retains a wooden late C18 fire surround and cast iron firegrate on the south-east wall.
SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: attached on the south-east and south-west sides is brick paving with a gully to the yard or twitten, circa 1830 or earlier in date.
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.