Lewes Street Stories: Toronto Terrace

Toronto Terrace Lewes 1907

Toronto Terrace, 1907 (by James Cheetham from Bob Cairns’ collection)

The project covers Toronto Terrace, Lewes (BN7 2DU), or rather the cul-de-sac part, which comprises 18 Victorian terraced houses. Numbers 1-8 were built around1883, with those opposite, #9-18, coming in the early 1890s.

On 15 Dec 1878 the area of land that became Pelham Terrace, Toronto Terrace & Talbot Terrace was sold to the Lewes Cattle Market Company by Henry Card, surveyor for £2,000. On the same day and for the same price Card had purchased the land from Anne d’Albiac (a widow in Putney), but detached a strip of land along the banks of the Pells to give to the town as a recreation area.

Less than five years later the cattle market closed (possibly because the plan to put in a spur line from the railway was shelved) and on 24 April 1883 the company sold 23 plots to a Brighton auctioneer, Ebenezer Wells, for £900. He immediately sold everything on at £50 profit to a Brighton solicitor, Stepney Schonberg. Planning applications at this date (1 Aug 1883) show that building started soon after, and also #18 opposite was erected on its own in 1886.  Permission for the remainder was granted on 23 Oct 1890 for 16-17, and on 4 Feb 1891 for 9-15.

The project has the following phases:

Toronto Terrace 2012

Toronto Terrace, June 2012, by Jane Lee

Stage 1 – My original plan was to just do a photographic record of each house (front & back) with its owners outside. I thought it would be of interest to future local historians in a few decades time. This was completed in Summer 2012 and a copy of all the photos will go to East Sussex Record Office.

Stage 2 – The next step is to find out who has owned and/or lived in the houses since they were built using residents’ deeds, street directories, censuses and other sources.

Stage 3 – Finally, I want to collect oral memories from the people who have lived the longest in the road, to hear how the community and the town have changed.

Initial findings were presented at the Lewes History Group meeting on 10 September 2012. See the presentation [3.43MB]

I am very interested in seeing photos of the street, conveyancing deeds or any other material about the buildings and people who lived in the street. Can you help?

Researcher: Jane Lee

Contact Jane via the form below: