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.



Songs about the South Downs

South Downs Folk Singers sing songs about the South Downs – or that were sung in the South Downs – or written by a resident of the Downs.  They keep local folksong up-to-date and write and sing new songs that are local to the area.

Geography of Brighton & Hove


Geology Brighton & East Sussex









Brighton and Hove is about 80 km (50m) south of London. The seafront is  6-km (4miles) long. If you were out on the Pier and looking back the town you would see that the land rises more steeply on your right hand side. This side is the East Cliff which is made of chalk and which runs for several miles from the centre of Brighton towards Rottingdean and Saltdean.

Brighton and Hove are at the mid point of a wide bay that stretches from Selsey Bill and Beachey Head. The original settlement probably grew up right here because an underground  river (called the Wellesbourne) flows in flows down from the Downs, through Patcham and comes out into the sea on the Kemp Town side of the Pier.

Geology of Brighton & Hove






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!



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.

Burning the Clocks

Image  The Guardian

Image The Guardian











This annual event, held on the shortest day December 21st, was created by Same Sky  in 1994. The idea was to turn the spotlight away from the ‘shopping’ side of Christmas to light up the darkest of winter nights. Every year there’s a new theme, related to the idea of time.There’s  a street procession made up of  hundreds of lanterns and a street parade which makes its way to the beach. People pass their lanterns  into a bonfire which is followed by a firework display

 Burning of the Clocks