Kemp Town is one of Brighton and Hove's architectural gems and offers a diverse range of properties, from the bijou to the ultra grand.

The area is particularly famous for the grandeur of its Regency buildings and as the stylish residence of famous actors, musicians and writers. It is also home to such institutions as the Royal Sussex County Hospital and Brighton College. It has always attracted people with a taste for the Bohemian and avant garde life styles.

Kemp Town began life as an upmarket estate to the east of Brighton developed by Thomas Read Kemp in 1823.

Kemp built the estate in an attempt to improve his finances by providing high-class housing for affluent society members wanting homes near the Prince of Wales’ (later George IV's) seaside palace.

The estate consisted of grand houses in Arundel Terrace, Chichester Terrace, Lewes Crescent and Sussex Square, which were the work of Charles Busby, the renowned architect and his building partner Amon Wilds.

Later, Kemp commissioned Thomas Cubitt, who had built London's Belgravia, to complete Sussex Square. By 1827, the facades had been completed.

Number One, Lewes Crescent, was built for William Cavendish, the sixth Duke of Devonshire, who wanted a residence near the Royal Pavilion.

But the other houses sold slowly and when Kemp ran into financial difficulties in 1837, he fled the country and Cubitt was left to complete Kemp Town.

Sales picked up by 1840 when a horse-drawn bus service to the railway station helped to end the isolation of the area and a railway line was added in 1869.

With the work finished, the rich and famous moved in. The area became home to dukes, earls, prime ministers and even the odd foreign king and queen stayed there.

The Rev Charles Dodgson, better known as Lewis Carroll, lived at No 11 from 1847 until 1887.

At the beginning of the 20th century One Lewes Crescent and the neighbouring house in Sussex Square were the home of the Duke of Fife and Princess Louise, daughter of King Edward VII. The King stayed there during 1908.

Later residents include the popular actress Anna Neagle and her producer-director husband Herbert Wilcox.Their neighbour was Lord Frederick Elwyn Jones, who was the chief prosecutor at the Nuremburg trials.

Royal Crescent, with its black glazed mathematical tiles on a timber framed building, has a special place in Kemp Town's history as it was the first terrace built facing the sea. It was built by a West Indian plantation owner, JB Otto in 1798.

It is one of Brighton's most prestigious crescents and the actor Lord Olivier and his family lived there from 1961 until 1987.

Another attraction is the enviable selection of independent shops, delis, cafes and restaurants. The main shopping areas are St James's Street and the St George's Road area is often referred to a Kemp Town Village where you can buy anything from a tiara for a pet poodle to an oriental carpet, and from homemade sausages to a portrait in oils. There is a Morrison's supermarket in St James's Street and Co-ops in St James's Street and St Georges Road where there is also one of Brighton's few independent butchers. Fresh fruit and vegetables are always available as are freshly baked bread and cakes.