Let’s start with the stories.
Rolling hillsides lined with farms and market gardens, where seeds were sown and crops were gathered, and nothing much changed except the weather and the seasons.
Let’s think about the dream of a town-and-country community, that would offer more space, beauty and opportunity than the town, and more to do than in the country.
A ‘garden city’ with homes fit for heroes, playing fields, big-hearted neighbours and grocery carts bringing vegetables, fruit and flowers from nearby nurseries.
The original estate
Moulescoomb has a distinguished history. After passing through the hands of Thomas Cromwell and Anne of Cleves, the estate was bought by a brandy merchant, Benjamin Tillstone, who added an Italianate front to the manor house and laid out formal gardens around it.
In the 1810s, the Prince Regent, later George IV, would sneak away for a relaxing break from the seaside crowds and construction work to finish his beloved Royal Pavilion. With a guard stationed discreetly in a niche in the flint wall south of the manor house, the prince would play the flute in a dovecote that had been specially converted for him into a summer house.
Cultivation meets culture
While the manor house was decorated and gentrified, the land around it was cultivated. Small, market gardening farms sprang up, such as Bates Nursery, which grew green vegetables and root vegetables, fruit trees, flowers and bulbs for decades until it was acquired by Brighton Council for housing.