Statistical information about local streets

This section, using Kensington Place as a model, provides a brief flavour of the sort of statistical information that will soon be on offer.

Kensington Place

Situated in the North Laine, Kensington Place is an interesting and unusual street of two halves. The west side evidences small irregularly designed houses of the 1820s, each with a front garden.

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At this time Kensington Place would have represented the northern boundary of urban Brighton – residents would have looked across their garden fences towards sheep grazing on the downland. The east side of the street, in contrast, is a regularised and elegant 1840s terraced row. This development would have seemed entirely appropriate to the, by then, heavily built over North Laine.

A number of interesting individuals have lived on the street over the past 170 years, including the clerk to the governor of the Brighton workhouse Mr George Huckerby, the reverend William Moone, who in the 19th century became an internationally renowned philanthropist, and Peggy Ramsey, a twentieth century theatrical agent, associated with leading dramatists and actors such as Alan Ayckbourn and Simon Callow.

Kensington Place Statistics

Photo of a section of the eastern terrace of Kensington 

Kensington Place comprises 51 houses, numbered 3 to 29 on the west side of the street, the earlier, 1820s, built side characterized by houses with front gardens, and 30 to 53 on the east side, built in terraced style during the 1840s.

Between 1841 and 1911 the average number of residents per house was around 5-6, although some houses were occupied by as many as 12 people. In 1861 the census shows No. 45 as housing two families - each of 5 persons, while in 1901, on the night of the census, this same house has 13 occupants – although 8 of these are visitors, entered as Music Hall variety artistes.

Street Population 1841-1911

Graph showing population of Kensington Place between 1841 and 1911

In 1841 all residents of the street were born in Sussex, but by 1911 only 60% were born in Sussex, with 19% hailing from London, and 17% from the surrounding counties of Kent, Surrey and Hampshire. The remainder came from all over the British Isles - from the Isle of Wight to Orkney, as well as the odd smattering from overseas: in 1861 there was a French family, in 1891 a Prussian and a New Zealander, and in 1901 an American and an Italian. Two people said they were born on the high sea!

Top 9 counties of birth 1841-1911

Table showing the top 9 counties of 
origin of residents of Kensington Place from 1841 to 1911

In 1851 the dominant occupations were dressmaker and carpenter, with servants, tailors, and coach-builders aplenty too. By 1911, although these occupations were still in strong evidence, they were joined by butchers and those of independent means.

It is interesting to note that until 1891 no one listed their occupation as of private means, but then in both 1891 and 1901 no less than 8 households gave this as their profession. This may of course simply be down to the changing instructions given to enumerators over the years.

Top 11 occupations 1851 - 1911

Table showing top 11 
occupations of residents of Kensington Place from 1841 to 1911