Here at The Old Market, we are incredibly lucky to be neighboured by an award-winning community garden, and the impressive Grade II listed Waterloo Archway. Expanding on our history of The Old Market, we thought we would take a look at the past and present of Waterloo Archway and its garden.
The Waterloo Arch
As we’ve seen, The Old Market didn’t last long in its retail capacity; by the mid 1800s its usage was firmly established as a stables and riding academy. It’s greatest success, however, came under the direction of Alfred Du Pont from 1870.
Du Pont’s Riding Academy earned national acclaim, and its popularity necessitated expansions to the original building. Yet, entering from Waterloo street to the East, its students may have been underwhelmed by the building’s facade.
In 1877, addressing this problem, Du Pont constructed the Waterloo Arch – render over brick, with crafted detail – offering his clients a significantly more impressive arrival.
By the early 1900s, The Old Market’s equestrian heyday had passed and the Waterloo Arch no longer welcomed riders. Instead, it became the entrance way for a steel structure housing a smokery for ham and bacon. Various ownerships and modifications left this building by the 1980s ramshackle, grimy and full of asbestos.
Local residents called for the arch’s restoration, and Hove council eventually managed to secure the plans and finance to do so, with a grand re-opening in 1986.
Waterloo Street Community Garden
With the Arch restored and the steel structure removed, Waterloo street was left with a clean but distinctly uninspiring path to The Old Market. A garden, many suggested, would be an ideal addition to the area. Early attempts, though, were underwhelming.
In the early 2000s, under the guidance of Bill Cowell and Peggy Thomas, grander plans were proposed. (Find more detail on the WSCG website.) For the past 7 years, under the management of the WSCG, the garden has blossomed, even earning a coveted “City In Bloom” prize.
The WSCG say “we are looking to create and maintain a pleasant environment for the residents to get to know their neighbours, exchange ideas and make friends. Most people in this central location in Hove do not have an outside space to relax in and so they use the garden as an extension of their homes.”
Donations to the community garden are greatly appreciated; you can donate here.
Next time you visit us here at The Old Market, make sure to stop by this wonderful, peaceful and historic spot!