Houses for sale on Maze Hill, 1836

I recently gave a talk on 6 Maze Hill to the Society. In carrying out the research, I searched for “6 Maze Hill” in the newspaper archive on the priced Find My Past database. This gave me lots of hits, but it missed a very relevant hit because it would only be found by searching for “8 Maze Hill” (or “8, Maze Hill”). Here is the relevant advertisement.


Advert in Brighton Gazette, 8 December 1836

It begins:


TO BE SOLD BY PRIVATE CONTRACT, seven desirable long Leasehold Houses, being Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8, Maze Hill, replete with every convenience, and peculiarly adapted for genteel residences, delightfully situate, overlooking the Royal Victoria Subscription Gardens, commanding extensive sea and land views.

This tells us that a freeholder (one of the Burtons ?) had leased seven houses on Maze Hill, almost certainly to one person. Was it the occupant of 5 Maze Hill ? That house number was missing from the list of houses to be sold.

Some readers may be interested that the advertisement also has early mentions of West Hill, now West Hill Road, and Marina. Victoria House is now Crown House. It was only Victoria House between her stay there in 1835, and her accession to the throne in 1837.

A later advertisement, in the Brighton Gazette, 20 September 1838, has the following text (I have omitted some material):

ST LEONARDS-ON-SEA, NEAR HASTINGS. To capitalists and families desirous of Residences in this delightful Watering-place.—Excellent Investments, secured in Eleven Houses, held for a term of 89 years unexpired, at ground rents.—Under orders for positive sale, and situated as follows:-

…THREE SUBSTANTIAL FAMILY RESIDENCES, Maze Hill, at a ground rent of £18 each, and TWO FAMILY RESIDENCES, being Nos. 7, and 8, Maze Hill, at a ground rent of £9 10s. each commanding a view of the Sea…. By Mr Izod, at the South Saxon Hotel, St Leonards, at Two for Three o’clock precisely. Half the purchase-money may remain on mortgage at 5 per cent.

The mention of 89 years unexpired on the leases is very significant. If all the houses, 1 to 8, had similar leases, then that would suggest 99 year leases from 1828. Or, the favoured 90 year leases that James Burton issued would suggest from 1835. Yet 6 Maze Hill has 1832 engraved on its wall ! As so often there is a puzzle waiting to be sorted out.


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