Royal Pavilion

Banqueting Room at the Royal Pavilion, from Views of the Royal Pavilion by John Nash (1826) The Royal Pavilion, or Brighton Pavilion, is a palace in Brighton designed by John Nash as a seaside retreat for the Prince Regent.

The Prince Regent, who later became King George IV, first visited Brighton in 1783, due to his physician advising him that the seawater would be beneficial for his gout.

The presence of the Prince Regent turned Brighton into a fashionable resort.

Brighton Pavlion The rows of Georgian houses in Brighton date from this period.

Although a favourite of Queen Victoria she found the Pavilion too cramped, shipped out its contents and decamped to the Isle of Wight and sold the Royal Pavilion to the town council for the sum of £50,000. Many of the original furnishings and fittings have since been returned.

Whilst she was in residence at the Pavilion Queen Victoria ordered that trains stop outside Brighton. With trains too often stopping short of Brighton on a Sunday one is left wondering whether or not her order was ever rescinded. Maybe someone should tell Network Rail.

During the First World War the Pavilion was used as a hospital for wounded Indian servicemen.

During World War II, Brighton was heavily bombed. The Pavilion was left intact as Adolf Hitler wished to use it as his headquarters following the German invasion.

The Pavilion is open to visitors and is also made available for education purposes, banqueting, and weddings.

Brighton Pavlion John Nash (1752 - 1835) was a renowned architect of his day. He was responsible for much of Regency London. Nash was the chief architect for what was then known as Marylebone Park, which stretched from St Jamesís northwards and included Regent Street, Regent's Park and its neighbouring streets, terraces and crescents of elegant town houses and villas. Nash was also responsible for the design of Buckingham Palace.

Although the Prince Regent put Brighton on the map as a fashionable place to be seen, its popularity had started to grow in the decades before. It was the advent of sea-bathing for medicinal purposes, that led to Brighton becoming a popular seaside resort. In 1750, Dr Richard Russell of Lewes published A Dissertation Concerning the Use of Sea Water in Diseases of the Glands and by 1754 had opened an establishment for medicinal cures in Hove. Bathing, fully clothed from bathing machines, was in the charge of bathing attendants, called 'dippers' for women and 'bathers' for men. By 1765, Brighton had become a popular resort for society. Dr Johnson, Fanny Burney and Mrs Thrale were among the early visitors.


Sussex ~ Brighton
(c) Keith Parkins 2006-2008 -- July 2008 rev 1