Brighton Hippodrome


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:
Statutory Address:
Brighton Hippodrome, 52-58, MIiddle Street, BN1 1AL


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Statutory Address:
Brighton Hippodrome, 52-58, MIiddle Street, BN1 1AL

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

The City of Brighton and Hove (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TQ 30912 04112


This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 24/06/2020

TQ3004SE 577-1/39/520 BRIGHTON MIDDLE STREET (East side) Nos.52-58 (Consecutive) Brighton Hippodrome (Formerly listed as Mecca Bingo, previously listed as: MIDDLE STREET Nos.52-58 Former Hippodrome)

20/12/85 II* Brighton ice rink, now bingo hall. Opened in 1897. Enlarged and converted into a circus and theatre called The Hippodrome in 1901, architect Frank Matcham; further enlarged by the addition of two houses to the north in 1939. Probably brick, stone, and/or terracotta all now painted, and the greater part of the building now rendered; roof obscured by parapet. Apart from the 1939 enlargement, the building is symmetrical and laid out on a long front along Middle Street; there are three elements.

EXTERIOR: the central part under a lean-to roof consists essentially of three elliptical arches at the centre with fluted pilasters, pulvinated frieze and moulded archivolt; the two outer arches give onto flat-arched entrances; the central arch encloses a window with sidelights and fanlight, all with decorative leaded glass; in the sides of the two porches are decorative panels of opalescent glass lettered 'HIPPODROME'.On either side of this porch, one flat-arched window with central mullion; cornice of egg-and-dart moulding; the building rises at the back above the lean-to roof with a central panel lettered 'HIPPODROME' set forward; dentil and modillion cornice; blocking course, raised at the centre and now much altered.

Flanking the centre are three-storey tower-like elements with a flat-arched entrance at the bottom, the entrance framed by pilasters, cornice and pediment and having panelled door of original design; two flat-arched windows above and one door above that; on the inner side is what looks like a large chimneystack, now finished off with new brickwork to the parapet.

The outer elements are a pair of single-storey entrances; the entrance itself four-centred, the mouldings dying into a chamfer at the side; panelled doors of original design to the left-hand entrance and original three-sided decorative lamps above; entrances framed by blocked Ionic engaged columns with pulvinated frieze and modillion cornice; the columns continue as engaged blocked antae above the cornice flanking a broad cartouche, the outline of which is marked by putti and scrolls; egg-and-dart moulding to cornice; the upper floor set well back.

INTERIOR: vestibule ceiling decorated with panels of arabesques. The auditorium is horseshoe-shaped in plan and the floor has been raised to accommodate a bingo hall; this runs through proscenium arch over former stage. The ornate decorations in modelled plaster make frequent use of Rococo forms. Proscenium arch with architrave having egg-and-dart moulding; shallow curved pediment over filled with a shell cartouche with Brighton's dolphins intertwined and flanked by female emblematic figures; blank balustrades either side of the pediment and three lunettes above filled with musical emblems in the centre and vases and arabesques to either side; two tiers of boxes formerly to either side, the upper boxes now only complete, flanked by pilasters with entablature and ribbed onion dome flanked by consoles and urns; the fronts of the boxes and of the gallery are decorated with cartouches, garlands and pendants.

The ceiling is divided into radiating segments, each segment being subdivided into three panels decorated with shell and other Rococo motifs, the ribs between treated as a double console bracket between the outer and middle panels; central rose with arcaded lantern.

Listing NGR: TQ3091204112


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Carder, T, Encyclopaedia of Brighton, (1990)


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 05 Sep 2001
Reference: IOE01/03475/06
Rights: Copyright IoE Robert E Priest. Source Historic England Archive
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