British city of Brighton and Hove. Conceived by speculative developer Joshua Hanson as Brighton underwent its rapid transformation from fishing village to fashionable resort, the three-sided “set piece” of around 70 houses and associated structures was designed and built over a ten-year period by Brighton’s most important Regency-era architects: the partnership of Charles Busby, Amon Wilds and his son Amon Henry Wilds. The site was originally Belle Vue Field—used at various times as a military camp (mentioned in Pride and Prejudice), a showground and the location of a windmill.
The square was a prestigious, high-class development, attracting the social elite. The square gradually lost its prestige status after the First World War as hotels started to move in. The square’s central garden, originally private, has been council-owned since 1884 and is publicly accessible.