The long, uncertain road in the development of Alexandra Gardens
Alexandra Gardens 1913
Alexandra Gardens was built on the site of Ventnor Mill and Pond. By 1868, Henry William May, then, of Woodlynch Bonchurch, had acquired the site with a view to develop the area. It seems he was unsure on how to move his ideas forward. In 1874 there is reference to Mr May asking for help from the Local Board (local planning), on how the Mill property could be improved.
The Local Board members continued discussing the development at meetings for a further year. During this time it was suggested that a row of shops could be built on the ground of the cottages which stood in Mill Street, now Pier Street, (right out of the Western end of Alexandra Gardens). The Mill was finally demolished in June 1875. At this time Mr May started to raise the capital to develop the Mill site. He deposited the title deeds relating to his freehold as security for a financial advance.