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Church of the Ascension, Westdene.jpg
The Church of the Ascension
Westdene is located in East Sussex
Location within East Sussex
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townBrighton
Postcode districtBN1
Dialling code01273
FireEast Sussex
AmbulanceSouth East Coast
EU ParliamentSouth East England
UK Parliament
List of places
East Sussex
50°51′33″N 0°09′41″W / 50.859305°N 0.161507°W / 50.859305; -0.161507Coordinates: 50°51′33″N 0°09′41″W / 50.859305°N 0.161507°W / 50.859305; -0.161507

Westdene is an area of the city of Brighton and Hove, East Sussex. It is an affluent northern suburb of the city, west of Patcham, the A23 (London Road) and the London to Brighton railway line, north of Withdean and northeast of West Blatchington. It is on the Brighton side of the historic parish boundary between Brighton and Hove and is served by Preston Park Railway Station. It is known for its greenery and woodland and is very close to the South Downs, from which it is separated by the Brighton Bypass, and was built on the slopes of two hills.[1]

The first part of the suburb to be developed was part of Valley Drive, on which around 30 houses were built in the "Tudorbethan" style between 1932 and 1934.[2] In 1938, local building firm Braybon Ltd signed a contract with Brighton Corporation to develop 168 acres (68 ha) of land nearby as an extension of the Withdean estate, with low-density housing of various types. Braybon had bought the land a year earlier.[3] The Second World War intervened, and most of the building work took place in the 1950s.[1][3]

Small greens and open spaces were provided, as were some shopping facilities. The central green was the site of a short-lived bowling green, and an 18th-century barn that was part of a farm survived on the site until the mid-1960s.[1][4] The Church of the Ascension, a public library and a primary school are nearby. The church, part of the parish of All Saints Church, Patcham,[5] was opened in February 1958; John Wells-Thorpe built the brick and glass structure.[1] The school dates from 1961 and the library was opened in March 1964.[1][4]

Westdene F.C. were established in 1983. Later called Withdean F.C. and then Withdean 2000 F.C., they had success in the Sussex County Football League and the Combined Counties Football League, winning the latter in the 2002–03 season, before going out of existence in 2004.[6]

Waterhall Mill

Waterhall Mill, also known as Westdene Mill or Patcham Windmill, is a disused tower mill. It is on the slopes of Coney Hill just north of Westdene. It was built in 1885 by James Holloway of Shoreham, and is believed to be the last brick windmill built in Sussex. Two of the staircases are said to have originated in St Paul's Cathedral. In World War II it was used by the Home Guard as a lookout post. Waterhill Mill was awarded Grade II listed status by English Heritage on 13 October 1952. It was converted into a domestic house in 1964.[7][8]


  1. ^ a b c d e Carder 1990, §206.
  2. ^ Fisher, David (27 November 2006). "Withdean/Westdene: The Tudorbethan style". My Brighton and Hove website. My Brighton and Hove (c/o QueenSpark Books). Retrieved 7 May 2009.
  3. ^ a b Fisher, David (22 March 2006). "Withdean/Westdene: History of Westdene Estate". My Brighton and Hove website. My Brighton and Hove (c/o QueenSpark Books). Retrieved 7 May 2009.
  4. ^ a b Fisher, David (22 March 2006). "Withdean/Westdene: History of Westdene Estate: 2". My Brighton and Hove website. My Brighton and Hove (c/o QueenSpark Books). Retrieved 7 May 2009.
  5. ^ "Diocese of Chichester: Benefice of Patcham All Saints". Diocese of Chichester website. The Bishop’s Council of the Diocese of Chichester. 2001. Retrieved 5 May 2009.
  6. ^ "Withdean 2000" (PDF). Nomad Online: the Directory of Sussex Non League Football. Centre Circle Publishing. 2007. Retrieved 7 May 2009.
  7. ^ "Patcham Windmill, Mill Road (south side), Brighton, Brighton and Hove, East Sussex". historicengland.org.uk. English Heritage. 2007. Retrieved 5 May 2009.
  8. ^ "Patcham mill is £1m home". The Argus (Brighton). 23 February 2013. Retrieved 23 February 2013.


  • Carder, Timothy (1990). The Encyclopaedia of Brighton. Lewes: East Sussex County Libraries. ISBN 0-86147-315-9.