Wednesday, 28 August 2013


Today we walked into Brighton along the foreshore which reminded us of the Gold Coast at home, a long straight road called the Monarch's Way with a still ocean to the side and buildings along the other. There are lots of restaurants, shops etc in the main part of Brighton Pier area with rides, side shows and carnival foods on the pier.

Brighton's beach, is a shingle beach at high tide with a flat sandy foreshore at low water, and has been awarded a blue flag. Blue Flag criteria include standards for water quality, safety, environmental education and information. 

The ancient settlement of "Brighthelmstone" dates from before Domesday Book (1086), but it emerged as a health resort featuring sea bathing during the 18th century and became a destination for day trippers from London after the arrival of the railway in 1841. Brighton experienced rapid population growth, reaching a peak of over 160,000 by 1961. Modern Brighton has a population of around 480,000 inhabitants.

Very expensive real estate overlooks the sea for a couple of kilometres from Hove to Brighton

Bandstand with West Pier in the background.

The Bandstand first opened in 1884. It was restored to its original specification and reopened in 2009.
For almost a century and a half the West Pier has been Britain’s most iconic pier built in 1866. Renowned for its wonderful architectural style, it has been visited and enjoyed by millions. One of only two grade 1 listed piers in the United Kingdom. Closed since 1975 for some time consideration for restoration was given but two fires in 2003 and other setbacks led to those plans being abandoned. Even today with its sculptural remains casting an eerie beauty over the seafront, the West Pier is still the most photographed building in Brighton. Opening in 1866 as a simple promenade pier, by the early twentieth century with the addition of a theatre and concert hall, it had become a thriving centre of seaside entertainment. By the late 1920’s the fully developed West Pier was enjoying its glamorous heyday.

A new landmark in its place the i360, a 183 m (600 ft) observation tower designed by London Eye architects Marks Barfield were announced in June 2006. Plans were approved by the council on 11 October 2006. Construction is yet to begin, but the area has been cordoned off.

The Brighton Marine Palace and Pier is a pleasure pier generally known as the Palace Pier for short, but has been informally renamed Brighton Pier since 2000 by its owners, the Noble Organisation, in an attempt to suggest that it is Brighton's only pier. The West Pier was its rival but was closed in 1975 and was subsequently severely damaged by fires and storms, with the remaining iron structure being partially demolished in 2010.  The pier opened in May 1899 after costing a record £27,000 to build. During a storm in 1973, a 70-ton barge moored at the pier's landing stage broke loose and began to damage the pier head, particularly the theatre. Despite fears that the pier would be destroyed, the storm eased and the barge was removed. The damaged theatre was never used again. In 1986 the theatre was removed, on the understanding that it would be replaced. This has not happened, and the present seaward end building looks fairly modern in comparison with the rest of the structure, supporting a domed amusement arcade and several fairground rides, including several thrill rides, children's rides and roller coasters.

The Victoria Fountain is located in the centre of the southern enclosure of the Old Steine Gardens. The fountain is thirty-two feet in height and includes a large, cast-iron pool with a rim decorated with egg-and-dart moldings. Originally, the pool was filled with water lilies and goldfish. Sarsen stones in the centre of the pool were first found in the Steine by workers digging a trench in 1823. The sandstone blocks support three intertwined dolphins, upon which rests a shallow, cast-iron basin. Above this are two columns with an additional basin.

The spectacular seaside palace of the Prince Regent (George IV) transformed by John Nash between 1815 and 1822 into one of the most dazzling and exotic buildings in the British Isles. The Royal Pavilion is a former royal residence. It was built in three stages, beginning in 1787, as a seaside retreat for George Prince of Wales, who became the Prince Regent in 1811. It is often referred to as the Brighton Pavilion. It is built in the Indo-Saracenic style prevalent in India for most of the 19th century, with the most extravagant chinoiserie interiors ever executed in the British Isles.

The Prince of Wales, who later became King George IV, first visited Brighton in 1783, at the age of 21. The seaside town had become fashionable through the residence of George's uncle, the Prince Henry, Duke of Cumberland, whose tastes for cuisine, gaming, the theatre and fast living the young prince shared, and with whom he lodged in Brighton at Grove House. In addition, his physician advised him that the seawater would be beneficial for his gout. In 1786, under a financial cloud that had been examined in Parliament for the extravagances incurred in building Carlton House, London, he rented a modest erstwhile farmhouse facing the Steine, a grassy area of Brighton used as a promenade by visitors. Being remote from the Royal Court in London, the Pavilion was also a discreet location for the Prince to enjoy liaisons with his long-time companion, Maria Fitzerbert. The Prince had wished to marry her, and did so in secrecy, as her Roman Catholicism ruled out marriage under the Royal Marriages Act 1772.

After the death of George IV in 1830, his successor King William IV also stayed in the Pavilion on his frequent visits to Brighton. Queen Victoria, however, disliked Brighton and the lack of privacy the Pavilion afforded her on her visits there, especially once Brighton became accessible to Londoners by rail in 1841, and the cramped quarters it provided her growing family. She purchased the land for Osborne House in the Isle of Wight, which became the summer home of the royal family. After her last visit to Brighton in 1845, the Government planned to sell the building and grounds. The Brighton Commissioners and the Brighton Vestry successfully petitioned the Government to sell the Pavilion to the town for £53,000 in 1850 under the Brighton Improvement (Purchase of the Royal Pavilion and Grounds) Act 1850.

Heltar Skeltar

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