The Old Steine
(Click on the image for a larger view)
Situated in the heart of the city, sandwiched between Kemptown and the Royal Pavilion, Old Steine Gardens is yet another staple in Brighton’s beautiful scenery. Although it may now be better known for being a hub for busses, the gardens remain beautiful and it still plays host to some of the biggest events of the summer.
The Old Steine was originally an open green with a stream running adjacent to the easternmost dwellings of Brighthelmstone. The area was used by local fishermen to lay out and dry their nets. When Brighton started to become fashionable in the late 18th century, the area became the centre for visitors.
The word Steine comes from the Old English stoene, meaning “stony place”. The name is thought to come from the number of large sarsen stones which once lay in the area. Many of the stones can still be seen at the base of the Steine’s Victoria Fountain, where they were placed when it was built in 1823.
On 25th May 1846, the Victoria Fountain was inaugurated in celebration of the 27th birthday of Queen Victoria herself. The fountain used to have goldfish and waterlilies floating about in it!