The Secret Garden originally belonged to no 32 Sussex Square which was bought by its first owner, Lawrence Peel, younger brother of the Prime Minister, in 1830. Several of the grand houses in the square had extensive gardens, each of which was accessed through a tunnel leading from the appropriate house. The Secret Garden is now the only remaining one of these. It is ‘secret’ because it is an oasis, a delightful walled garden hidden from view, in the midst of suburban Kemp Town. Originally a ‘pleasure garden’, it led to a kitchen garden beyond.
The Secret Garden was purchased by the family of Antony Dale, founder of the Regency Society, in 1950. It was cared for by Antony and his wife (later widow), Yvonne Dale. Yvonne gave great consideration to the future of this valuable piece of land in central Brighton. Rather than sell it for development, it was her wish that this very special garden should remain as a haven for the use of the community and others, and for artistic purposes.
Although the garden is currently closed for the winter, we’ll be back at the beginning of April 2023. We’ll be opening each weekend until the end of September and very much look forward to your visits.
If you’d like to join our mailing list we’ll keep you up to date with all our events and plans for the garden. Just email us on
The Secret Garden is run by Antony Dale Trust, a registered UK charity, governed by a small board of dedicated trustees.