33 Palmeira Mansions

Number 33 Palmeira Mansions

Published On June 17, 2015 | By Zazie Clarke | Hidden Gems

33 Palmeira Mansions

Number 33 Palmeira Mansions truly is a hidden gem. The Grade II listed building is a language school by day, but concealed inside is a lavish interior of marble, stained glass, and Victorian finery.

The Mansion blocks were built in the 1880s in Italianate style by Jabez Reynolds Senior, the developer behind many of Brighton’s famous buildings including the Grade II listed Norfolk Hotel (now the Mercure) and St Martin’s Church. Number 33 was bought in 1889 by a recently-widowed Arthur William Mason, who moved in with his young daughter. Using the family fortune, Mason channeled his flair for interior design, refurbishing the house with an eclectic mix of exotic features: elaborate fire places, mahogany doors, intricately decorated wallpaper, marble staircases and a Moorish ceiling.

Outliving his second wife and marrying again in his seventies, Mason died in 1940, but surprisingly much of the original interior he created has survived. One of his paintings, ‘Dante in Exile’ was bought at auction by Andrew Lloyd-Webber for a record-breaking £1,000,000 in the 90s. The house isn’t always open to the public, but tours take place at 11am on the first Sunday of each month. There are also tours each May as part of the Brighton Fringe, and private tours can be arranged: after 3pm on weekdays, or throughout the weekend. Discover this little-known apartment fit for a King, hidden in Hove.

About The Writer

I recently graduated from the University of Manchester with a degree in Anthropology. Since moving back I have been happily reacquainted with Brighton’s idiosyncratic streets and colourful characters. I like writing and riding my bike around the city hunting for hidden treasures.