A Short History

By the Middle Ages the shallow chalk valley at the south end of West Blatchington village came to be known as Goldstone Bottom from the 'Goldstone', a huge boulder said to weigh 20 tons, which stood on land south of the main (Old Shoreham) road. In 1906 the Goldstone was moved to its current location in the south-western corner of Hove Park.

 

The Brighton, Hove and Preston Constant Water Service Company opened a large water pumping station in Goldstone Bottom in 1866. It was saved from demolition in the 1970s and now houses the British Engineerium which is currently closed for complete renovation and restoration prior to re-opening in 2016.

 

In 1899 Hove Corporation purchased 40 acres in Goldstone Bottom to create a public park. The southern section of the park opened on 24 May 1906, followed by the northern part a few years later. Trees were planted and sports facilities such as tennis courts and bowling greens constructed.

 

During the First World War the park was used for military drills and some of the land was ploughed up & planted with crops.

 

The miniature steam railway opened in 1951, having been moved from the Brighton Olympic Stadium at Withdean.

 

On the night of 16/17 October 1987 around two-thirds of the trees in the park, including many mature elms, were toppled in the ferocious Great Storm. Major re-planting was undertaken and the opportunity taken to move the Playground to a more open location.

 

Further Information

 

Brighton Museums has an article on the Goldstone.

 

James Gray Collection for the Hove West Blatchington Area has several old photos of the area. There are some relevant ones on other parts of the site.

 

Standing Stones in Sussex/The Goldstone

 

My Brighton and Hove has several articles on Hove Park

 

Judy Middleton's Local History of Hove, Portslade, Brighton and surrounding area has two relevant articles.   [Hove, Portslade and Brighton in the Past/The Goldstone] and [Hove, Portslade and Brighton in the Past/Trees of Hove] which includes fascinating information about the Great Gale and subsequent replanting.

 

Britain from Above has a 1937 photo of the greyhound stadium and Hove Park.

 

The Sussex History Forum has some prewar photographs of Goldstone Crescent and Woodland Drive, although you do need to register to view the photos. The Goldstone Crescent one shows the old line of trees before the Great Gale.

 

There is a 13 minute video entitled "The Storm of October 1987 in Hove Park Sussex" on YouTube.

 

Wanderlust676  on Flickr has a number of photographs of Hove Park with trees uprooted. The photograph that this link gives shows the telephobe box at the junction of Goldstone Cresent and The Droveway; now somewhat isolated, before the Great Gale it was hemmed in by trees and bushes.

 

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