BRIGHTON and Hove is full of well known and beautiful churches from the majestic St Peter's to the unmistakable St Bartholomew's.

But few know of Brighton's underground church - buried deep beneath Churchill Square Shopping Centre.

When Christine Jeffcoat was asked to come up with quiz questions for a friend, she decided to put one in about the building, known as the Church of the Holy Resurrection.

But when nobody knew the answer, she went to consult her old Argus copies to make sure she had not made the whole thing up.

Sure enough, after digging out our special feature from July 1966, she re-familiarised herself - and now a whole new generation - with the story behind what was the only underground church in the country.

Arthur Wagner, the much loved vicar of Saint Paul’s in West Street, put in plans to build the church in the 1870 but the proposal was knocked back because of the height of the building.

The eccentric vicar was to stop at nothing to get his church built and so decided to go underground.

It opened in 1876 with parishioners flocking to the underground church for Sunday services, marriages and funerals.

However, the building's life as a place of worship was cut short and it closed its doors in 1908.

It lay empty for a few years before being reopened as a storage facility used by the West Street Brewery and then later for meat.

Mrs Jeffcoat, 71, whose father Cyril Noyce was the superintendent of market and abattoirs for the city, remembers going down to the old vaults.

She said: "It was perfect for storing meat because of the temperature and my father spent a lot of time there.

"It is a fascinating piece of local history and surprisingly not that many people know about it.

"What's left of it now I don't know but it would be interesting to find out."

When the Churchill Square development was started in 1963 - later to be rebuilt between 1996 and 1998 - the building was emptied and is now nothing more than a few dark empty rooms beneath the outlets of the shopping centre.