Grid Ref: TQ 313 058 (Railway Station)
Dates: 13 July 2009 & 15 February 2012


Brighton Pavilion
Brighton Pavilion

I do not normally cover cities on this website and this is not an in depth look. These pictures are merely a record of a walk from Hove into Brighton with a visit to the Pavilion. Until the middle of the 20th century, Brighton was perhaps best known as a seaside resort and as the site of the extravagant Pavilion. In my childhood, I knew it as the terminus of the London to Brighton vintage car rally and for the famous 'London to Brighton in Four Minutes' railway film.

The Pavilion was built in 1787 for the Prince of Wales, who became Prince Regent from 1811 to 1820 and then King George IV until 1830. It is Grade I listed and its current appearance is the work of John Nash, who extended it in 1815. This was the Prince's seaside retreat and he is credited with popularising the concept of seaside holidays. In more modern times, Brighton remains a popular destination for tourists, renowned for its diverse communities, quirky shopping areas, large cultural, music and arts scene and its large LGBT population. Moreover, Brighton has two universities, making the population more youthful in term time. The University of Sussex, founded in 1961, has 17,000 students and the University of Brighton, formed in 1992 has 21,000.

Hove Beach Huts   Hove
Beach Huts at Hove   One of many grand properties on the Hove seafront
Bandstand   St. Aubyn's
Bandstand   St. Aubyn's Mansions
Pier   Seafront
Burned out West Pier in 2009   Seafront scene
Grand Hotel   The Lanes
Grand Hotel, Brighton   Residential part of 'The Lanes' area

The renowned concert singer, Dame Clara Butt, (1872-1936) was the daughter of a fisherman and was born in Southwick, Sussex. By the time she was 18 she was six feet two inches tall and had a voice of amazing range. She married the baritone Robert Rumford in Bristol in 1900. She lived at number 4 St. Aubyn's Mansions from 1903-1906 and there is a Blue Plaque to commemorate her on the property. From 1947 to 1952, the entertainer Vesta Tilley (1864-1952) had an apartment in the same building.

West Pier, opened in 1866, was designed by Eugenius Birch. It was the first pier in Britain to be Grade I listed. It was extended in 1893 and a concert hall was added in 1916. In the post-war period it became a funfair and tearoom but the owners became bankrupt and could not find a buyer. After closure in 1975 it fell into disrepair and there were fires in March and May 2003. Some demolition took place in 2010 in preparation for the construction of an observation tower. Further damage was wrought by the great storms of 2014.

'The Lanes' is an area on the East of the town noted for its boutiques and restaurants with narrow streets, some running down to the sea front. The Grand Hotel, is known as the site of the bombing of the Conservative Party Conference in 1984 by the IRA.


Brighton on Wikipedia

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