Arnold House Hotel, Brighton - 1960s

The Southern Aspect, Arnold House Hotel, Brighton

I'm always thrilled when I come across a good story behind a vintage postcard. Sadly, on some occasions, these mementos of times past depict charming buildings which have been long since demolished, and serve as a pictorial record of our lost architectural heritage.

This real photograph postcard published by N.H. Portraits Ltd., depicts the southern aspect and gardens of the Arnold House Hotel situated on Montpelier Terrace in Brighton, Sussex. Once owned by Brighton philanthropist Mr Henry Willett (1823 – 1903), the house was originally built in 1861 on the site of an old farmhouse. On Willett's death his family continued to live in the house until 1917. By 1924 the house was owned by a certain Robert Heather who turned the house into a hotel in 1939, adding a putting green and a croquet lawn to the gardens.

In 1971 the beautiful Victorian building was knocked down and replaced with a nondescript block of flats, whilst the gardens are now, for the most part, occupied by a supermarket car park!

The postcard, which is in pristine, uncirculated condition, belonged to my grandfather, and is one of a few dozen vintage postcards that he had kept safely together with family photographs. Sadly, Granf is no longer with us so I'll never know the story as to how this postcard came into his possession; the date is my mother's approximate guess as to when my grandparents visited Brighton.

The fate of Arnold House has stirred up many a discussion online. You can read more about the history of the hotel and those who lived and worked there at the Brighton Bits and My Brighton and Hove websites.

Arnold House, Brighton, Aug 12 195?
Guests at Arnold House hotel 1950s

Check out eBay for more vintage Hotel postcards

Find more vintage postcards over at Beth's postcard blog The Best Hearts are Crunchy and join other collectors on Postcard Friendship Friday.

Postcard Friendship Friday


VioletSky said…

It is almost criminal what was done to so many of these old buildings (especially in the 70s). I imagine this one was still in good condition and didn't really need to be torn down. I checked out your links and it sounds like it was a wonderful oasis in the city.
My father used to go rushing around taking photos of any buildings he heard were to be demolished in the area where he lived. Sadly, somewhere along the line those photos have disappeared.
Snap said…
I hate when an old building is torn down. I know some have to be destroyed because they simply aren't safe. But those that have been cared for should be given a second chance. I hate to see the bungalows in the neighbor meet the wrecking ball and a MacMansion built in their place .... there goes the neighborhood! Wonderful that this lovely card belonged to your grandfather.
Beth Niquette said…
I love this beautiful card--and how precious that it belonged toy our dear Grandfather. I am on the Historical Preservation Commission of my own little town--so we try our very hardest to save the old buildings.

Happy PFF, sweet Friend!
Beth Niquette said…
The name "Brighton" seems to bring up feelings of warmth--I think I've read lots of stories where the characters are traveling to Brighton. Whether or not this is THE same place...probably not--but how cool is this?! Happy Easter, by the way. Hope you have a lovely weekend.