Author Lewis Carroll used to spend his summers in the salubrious setting of Sussex Square in Brighton.

He particularly liked being in the secluded gardens that were created in the square and neighbouring Lewes Crescent.

Carroll, whose real name was the Rev Charles Dodgson, was always fascinated by the secret tunnel which goes from the gardens under the coast road towards the beach.

And he immortalised it by using it in the opening scene of his classic children’s story Alice In Wonderland.

Alice falls down a rabbit hole which quickly becomes a steep, long, narrow tunnel and starts her amazing adventures.

Carroll came to Brighton each year between 1874 and 1887 to stay with the Rev Henry Barclay whom he had met at Oxford.

From 1885, he was able to see his sister Henrietta who had moved to Brighton and lived in Park Crescent.

In 1887, Carroll went with his sister to the Theatre Royal in New Road to see a production of Alice In Wonderland, although his opinion of it was not recorded.

Carroll died in 1897 but Henrietta remained in Brighton and lived until 1922 surrounded by cats.

There is a plaque located at 11 Sussex Square to commemorate Carroll’s stays in Brighton.

But Carroll was by no means the only famous person to have enjoyed the crescent, square and gardens which formed the bulk of Kemp Town and were started in the 1820s.

The builder Thomas Cubitt lived in Lewes Crescent for a decade until 1855, watching the area develop. Thomas Kemp, whose idea the estate was, lived in Sussex Square.

It was Kemp’s notion to build the houses and roads on a grand scale but sales were slow and it took 30 years to complete the scheme.

Most of the buildings were eventually converted into flats although a few are now again used by single families.

Another notable resident was the Earl of Bristol who later became a Marquess and a government minister. He was also a major landowner and many streets locally are named after him, along with a pub.

The sixth Duke of Devonshire was at Lewes Crescent in Fife House. Nearby Duke’s Mound is named after him.

Later it was occupied by Princess Louise, daughter of King Edward VII. He stayed with her for a few weeks in 1908.

The actress Dame Anna Neagle and her slightly sinister film director husband, Herbert Wilcox, lived in Lewes Crescent for much of the 1950s and 1960s.

Close by for many of those years was Lord Elwyn-Jones, a Labour lawyer who became Lord Chancellor in the 1970s. His artistic wife was known as Pearl Binder.

When Edward VII used the gardens, he was following in the footsteps of his parents, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. They enjoyed walking there as did William IV when he stayed in Brighton.

The gardens were used for military purposes during the Second World War and the tunnel was bricked up. It didn’t re-open until after renovation in 1952.

Several films have been shot there including part of On A Clear Day You Can See Forever starring Barbra Streisand.