High Street Area D5

High Street Area D5

By circa 1802 Edward Ogle had arranged for The Colonnade to be constructed facing High Street, between Ann Street and Warwick Street, immediately opposite Warwick House.

Part of the 1852OS map showing Nos. 1 – 7

High Street out-lined in pink.

The southern part of the building located at the junction of Warwick Street and High Street was originally named Colonnade House with the other three parts leading northwards numbered 1 – 3 The Colonnade. The more modern numbers for the properties, 1 – 7 High Street, have been added to the 1852OS map above.

The Colonnade (left) and Warwick House in 1804.

[Picture of Worthing, John Evans, 1805, plate facing title page].  

As the engraving of 1804 reveals (see above) The Colonnade clearly complemented the architecture of Warwick House. It was a unified and graceful and graceful building with an attractive curved arcade, decorated with cast-iron balustrades running around the raised ground floor and approached each end by steps. At first-floor level cast-iron balconies echoed the balustrades of the ground floor.

On 10th January 1888 a large part of The Colonnade was destroyed in one of the worst fires in the history of Worthing. The fire started around 2am and lasted for four hours. Fortunately it was a calm night otherwise the fire could have spread down Warwick Street. The report from the Fire Brigade later revealed the fire only spread to No.45 Warwick Street where the roof and top floor were slightly damaged. However, the Colonnade buildings suffered badly and in No.1 the roof and three floors were destroyed. No.3 was completely destroyed and No.5 had the roof and three floors partly destroyed. Fortunately there were no fatalities or injuries as Police Sergeant Byrne was passing the house at around 2am and was able to rescue a number of residents. The Fire Brigade eventually arrived to deal with the fire and several volunteers arrived to help remove furniture and other combustible items to try and stem the spread of the fire.

On the 14th January 1888 the Worthing Intelligencer published a detailed account of the fire, part of which can be read by those interested in Henfry Smail’s book Warwick House – Notable Houses of Worthing No.5, 1952, pages 66-69. The shell of the Colonnade building remained standing after the fire (see illustration below) and was found to be in sufficiently good order to be rebuilt, except that the height of No.3 was reduced by the two top storeys and part of the balcony at the north end was removed. The raised colonnade at the south-east corner with its graceful cast-iron arcading remained more or less in its original condition until the premises were again rebuilt in 1936.

[Warwick House–Notable Houses of Worthing No.5, Henfry Smail, 1952, page 62].

This postcard from the early years of the 20th century shows trees and remains of a wall in the centre of the Brighton Road which were part of the southern end of the Warwick House estate (see top illustration).They were retained for many years with traffic passing on both sides, but eventually deemed a traffic hazard and removed.  

In 1936 The Colonnade was completely modernised and the raised colonnade at the south-east corner was removed together with the wrought iron upper balconies. The ground floor was converted into shop premises and the upper floors for commercial purposes. Despite modern road widening schemes etc these buildings have so far escaped demolition (November 2011).   

5-7 High Street 3 High Street 1 High Street