Our Building

Heritage Postcards 48
Fabrica is based on the site of the former Holy Trinity Church. This Grade II-listed building was built, like so many of the Brighton city’s icons, by Thomas Kemp.

In 1817, Thomas Read Kemp built himself a chapel in Ship Street. A young landowner with a degree in theology from Cambridge University and a seat in parliament, he had joined an evangelical sect promoted by his wife's family. He built the chapel as a base for the sect in Brighton but within a few years he lost interest and turned his attention to developing what would become Kemp Town.

Mr Kemp's or Ship Street Chapel became part of the established Church of England in 1826. It was known as Trinity Chapel and later Holy Trinity Church. The building was remodelled three times before the end of the 19th century. Between 1826 and 1971, when the last permanent incumbent left, a succession of priests were appointed to look after the church and its congregation and served anything from two to 28 years.

They came from a variety of social backgrounds; they had been born in England, Wales, the USA, India and Jamaica; they had travelled different educational and professional paths (teacher, writer, musician, coal miner, policeman); they did and did not have families; they were at the start of their career and at the end.

Brighton & Hove is a community where history is recorded and treasured. There are some outstanding local organisations that are ensuring the stories of people and places are researched, conserved and shared. Parts of Holy Trinity's story have been told in other publications but this is the first attempt at a complete story of the building and of the people who have passed through it.

If These Walls Could Talk

A brand new publication from Fabrica, this book was researched and written as part of a project designed to discover and tell the stories of the building it has called home for 25 years. Telling the stories of the building and the people who have worked and worshipped in it since it opened in 1817. Buy the book here.


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