A brief history of Sussex Place
Have you ever wondered about the origins of the main campus buildings? Here's a brief look into the history of Sussex Place, according to various reliable sources and archives...
Sussex Place was completed in 1823 to the design of John Nash. Nash drew the outside of the building before selling to a building contractor named John Smith for £200.
Whilst part of the grand ethos of Regent's Park, the main part of the terrace was rather modest and included 24 tall, thin houses giving onto a large communal garden. The entrances have always been at the back and there would have been a mews where the car park is. The back of the building would have looked like the backs of A and B wing, but with heavy porches over the entrances to the houses.
Part of Sussex Place was taken over by the Ministry of Transport during the Second World War. At this stage, the buildings were in a state of disrepair, with a parachute bomb having destroyed the back of Sussex Place in 1940. During the War, House No.1 was used as a clinic where Sir Winston Churchill was treated. The King and Queen also visited the House when it was a clinic to see a patient who had had pioneering surgery to reattach his arm. With them came the young Princess Elizabeth – now Queen Elizabeth II.
After the Second World War, houses on Sussex Place were rented out on short-term leases. One house was rented by the gambler, John Aspinal, who used to hold parties in the garden featuring small pavilions and elephants! Herbert Henry Asquith (British Prime Minister from 1908-1916) also once lived in Sussex Place.
In 1969 the then ‘London Graduate School of Business Studies’ took over Sussex Place on a 99-year lease. The Queen returned to open the building and there is a plaque on the wall which you can find in Ratcliffe Reception.
The Windsor Castle pub is also an original building and was rented from the Crown by the School until the late 1980s.