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.