ROME was not built in a day as the saying goes.

Neither was Brighton and Hove, regardless of whether you think the cities can be compared.

But as recently as the Twenties and Thirties much of the city had not yet been built.

These photos from The Keep archive in Falmer show the mammoth effort in the Thirties, Forties and Fifties to convert muddy fields into bustling suburbs.

At the beginning of the Twenties, Whitehawk was mostly a mix of pig farms and allotments.

Whitehawk Road marked the eastern boundary of cramped Brighton. Many of its poor citizens lived in slums.

The Argus: Sunninghill Estate in Hove in November 1946. Photo: East Sussex Record Office/The KeepSunninghill Estate in Hove in November 1946. Photo: East Sussex Record Office/The Keep

So the Brighton Corporation resolved to clear the slums.

But it needed somewhere to put the newly displaced residents.

Whitehawk would be one of those locations. By 1937 nearly 1,200 houses had been built on the estate, all with gardens.

The mastermind behind Brighton’s expansion was Sir Herbert Carden, a lawyer who served on the corporation for 46 years.

It was Sir Herbert who brought the village of Patcham into Brighton’s boundaries in 1928, paving the way for the Ladies Mile Estate.

Fittingly, the road separating Patcham from Hollingbury was named after him: Carden Avenue.

Most of Brighton’s new estates were named after the hills and valleys they were built on.

Whitehawk was named after Whitehawk Hill, believed to stem from “Vied Ac” which means “holy oak” in Saxon.

The Argus: Whitehawk in March 1936. Photo: East Sussex Record Office/The KeepWhitehawk in March 1936. Photo: East Sussex Record Office/The Keep

Suburbs ending in “dean” indicate they were built on a valley.

Bevendean, for example, is derived from “Beofa’s valley” as it was described in the 1086 Domesday Book.

Other suburbs are named after Old English phrases. Hangleton is believed to be derived from Old English for “the farm by the sloping wood”.

To order copies of these wonderful photos, call The Keep on 01273 482349 or alternatively visit for further details. Have the photo reference number to hand.