The History of 7 Lewes Crescent

1 Molly Anderson

2.Kitty O’Shea

1 Molly Anderson lived in Lewes Crescent since 1923, mainly at No 7. In the early years when she was aged about 10, she and her brother Julian were full of fun and adventure and roamed the Gardens on many occasions..

In the North Garden in the North East corner there was a fine mulberry tree which they climbed and ate the fruit unless it was already picked by the maids from the surrounding houses for making jam or wine by the cooks,

In those days there was a gate in the middle of the railings in either side of Eastern Road so one could cross between the gardens easily, there being little traffic at the time.

Molly and Julian played cricket in the South Garden with other local children. In those days the Gardens were known as North, Lower and The Slopes being the part beyond the tunnel.

There were 3 tennis courts in the Lower Garden, 2 were in use while one was kept unused until the grass grew again.

Users paid 1 shilling per hour. Molly and Julian practiced their tennis hitting a ball against the walls down in the slopes.

Molly went to school at St Mary’s and was escorted there each day by one of the maids.

The Constable was always on duty in the Gardens and kept an eye on the youngsters so parents need not accompany them.

Remarkable Visitors

Kitty O'Shea

2 Kitty O’Shea in Lewes Crescent Gardens

Andrew Doig

Kitty O'Shea
Kitty O’Shea

Kitty O’Shea 1846 – 1921

‘‘In the evening we used to walk in the Lewes Crescent gardens where the scent of the wallflowers and the drowsy swash of the sea lulled us into the desire for sleep.”

Kitty O’Shea

In 1890 Charles Stewart Parnell’s campaign to achieve Home Rule for Ireland was on the brink of success when, in divorce proceedings, his relationship with Kitty O’Shea, a married woman, became public. They had been living together for years and Kitty had three children by Parnell. The outrage that followed this news caused a split in the Home Rule lobby and robbed Parnell of the victory he was so near to achieving. Home Rule did not come to Ireland until 1914.

Kitty O’Shea was a younger sister of Lady Lennard Barrett at 7 Lewes Crescent. In memoirs written by Kitty in 1913 she recalls the time, decades earlier, when she and her sister Anna would visit their older sister at Lewes Crescent and walk in the gardens at dusk. She tells the story of two young beaux tossing bouquets of flowers up onto the balcony of No.7 for the two sisters to find.