The Chain Pier

The  Chain Pier was originally built in 1823 as a landing stage for boats which sailed to Dieppe in France but as many people just wanted to walk out onto the for the fresh air and the views of the town the owners added food and entertainment stalls.

 Many storms damaged The Chain Pier until it was finally destroyed in December 1896. The remains of some of the pier’s foundations can still be seen at the times of very low tides.

More details from Brighton Museum.

Painting by John Constable 1824.



Neolithic Brighton


A reconstruction by Ian Dennis of the Whitehawk causewayed enclosure c. 3,600 BC (reproduced from Whittle, Healy and Bayliss 2011) via University College London.

Whitehawk Camp is thought to be the oldest known place where people gathered in our local area. Archaeological evidence suggests that  people met there around 3650 BC to have ceremonies and feasts.

It’s made up of four circles of ditches and  measures around 289 m by 213 m and is older than Stonehenge  by 500 years.

The objects found there are now in the Royal Pavilion Museum.They include decorated pottery, to ‘chessboard’ chalk objects, many animal and human remains.

Useful links

Whitehawk Camp

Brighton in 1970′s

Phil Lucas has combined 5 Pathe news reels from the 1970′s. It shows Hanningtons,  the West Pier undamaged, street scenes, Harold Wilson and lots of people wearing flares!



Regency Brighton



Part of hand-coloured Brighton Panorama published by W.H.Mason 1833

The Regency  in the is the period between 1811 and 1820 when King George III  was not well and his son George (the Prince Regent) ruled in his place. However the “Regency era” can also mean the longer time between 1795 and 1837 which had distinct trends in  architecture, literature, fashions, politics, and culture.

After the Prince Regent (the future George IV) visited Brighton in 1783 the town grew and changed rapidly. Many people in Brighton could now make more money by selling services and goods to the prince and his rich friends. At the beginning of the 18th century the town had few shops but from the late 18th century there were theatres, coffee houses, banks, libraries, glove shops, silver smiths and tailors.

The Prince had the Royal Pavilion changed from a farmhouse to the way it looks today. He also bought a lot of the land around it so that the Steine – which had been used by fishermen to dry their nets – now became a fashionable place to visit. In the Regency period there were lots of new houses, squares and crescents built for the wealthy visitors.

From this time people also came to Brighton for health reasons. They bathed in the sea and visited indoor baths and steam rooms in the town.

Useful links:

Regency Town House


Brighton in the First World War

p22-war-5 (1)

The Royal Pavilion was used as a hospital for Indian soldiers between 1914-1916.From  1916 until  1919 it became the Pavilion General Hospital  and looked after 6,085 patients.

It is said that the sound of the guns firing at the Battle of the Somme were heard on the school playing field of Brighton College in the summer of 1916.

The Brighton War Memorial in Old Steine  was finished in  1922. It shows the names  of 2,597 men and 3 women of the town who died in military service.

The Chattri is a memorial to the Indian soldiers who died at the Royal Pavilion hospital. It is on the Downs, just north of Patcham. The monument has 8 sides and it is on the cremation site. It has been there since 1921.



Victorian Brighton

Victorian Brighton

It is worth noting that Brighton was well known as a  ‘seaside resort’  where people came just to enjoy the beach even  before Queen Victoria came to the throne.The town was already famous in the earlier Regency period because lots of people had followed the Prince Regent who came here in 1783. By the time  Queen Victoria came to the throne in 1837  the Royal Pavilion was already built and Brighton was well known  as a fashionable and fun place for the rich.

LINKS to be added here

Clock Tower

Ana Barros

Clock Tower

The Clock Tower  is a very well known landmark in the centre of Brighton at the crossroads of Queens Road, Dyke Road,  West Street & North Street. As well as the four clock faces, each side also has a portrait. Queen Victoria, facing to the north, her husband, Prince Albert, facing to the south, her son, Edward Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) , facing east and his wife, Princess Alexandra, facing west.It was built to mark Queen Victoria‘s Golden Jubilee in 1887 . The  time ball, built by Magnus Volk’s , was designed to rise up the mast and then fall down on the hour.

When Queen Victoria had been on the throne for sixty years many towns built  something to mark the occasion. James Willing gave £2000 for the Clock Tower to be built in Brighton. The tower was finished on  20 January 1888. It has English Heritage  Grade II listing for its architectural and historical importance.

My Brighton & Hove


The Keep Brighton

Keep Brighton










The Keep opened in October 2013. It’s an archive and historical resource centre which stores information to do with East Sussex County Council and Brighton & Hove City Council. The University of Sussex‘s Special Collections are also included, including the records of the Mass Observation project.The Sussex Family History Group are based in the building and has moved its library there. Facilities are provided for public access and research.

The Keep has many  opportunities for learners. School visits can be organised or the  staff can also visit any school.

They have primary original sources, oral history, film,photographs, maps and postcards to help people to understand national themes from a local perspective. The collections can be used to learn about History Maths, Science, Technology, English and Literacy, Photography, Geography and Design.Some of the records stored at The Keep are 900 years old.

Preston Manor







The name means ‘priest’s holding’ and it’s thought that there was a monastery on this site in the Middle Ages.

A manor was originally built about 1600, rebuilt in 1738 and then added to and altered in 1905. The Manor was bought by the Stanford family in 1794 and for 138 years was their family home. Ellen Thomas-Stanford came to live in the house in 1903 with her second husband Charles Thomas-Stanford.  Ellen had the house altered and re-furnished in keeping with the fashion of rich people in Edwardian times. On their death 1932, the house and contents were left to the Corporation of Brighton (now Brighton & Hove City Council).

Preston Manor now is an opportunity to see an Edwardian home both ‘upstairs’ and ‘downstairs’. In the grounds there is an ‘old-fashioned’ walled garden and family pets’ graveyard.  Next door is the mediaeval church of St Peter

Guided tours and Victorian role-play to school groups.