Brighton Pavilion/Brighton Pier

Brighton is located in East Sussex. It was a nice drive down and the day was warm and sunny. After driving around the centre of Brighton a couple of times, we found ourselves some parking not too far from the sea.

Brighton Pavilion
The beautiful palace you see is Brighton Pavilion. It sticks out like a sore thumb but in a good way!

It was built by a man who had never traveled farther east than Germany. In 1783, George, Prince of Wales, paid a visit to the thriving resort of Brighthelmstone. More than 30 years later, and some 500,000 poorer, George could finally step back and admire the handiwork of his favourite architect, John Nash.

The Pavilion survived a devastating arson attack, extensive hurrican damage and even Queen Victoria! She removed everything from the Pavilion including the kitchen sink!

The visitor's entrance to the Pavilion faces a wonderful garden which we walked through. The souvenir shop is next door to the Pavilion and of course I went in.

The novelist William Thackeray once wrote: "It is the fashion to run down George IV, but what myriads of Londoners ought to thank him for inventing Brighton". The Royal Pavilion's 400,000 visitors a year couldn't agree more.

Brighton Pavilion

The old Brighton Pier
We then headed for the beach. I had seen Brighton Pier in a magazine add for a Triumph motorcycle so it was a real thrill to see it in person and to learn of the history behind it. In the year of 1891, work commenced on Brighton Palace Pier, now known as Brighton Pier. This work involved replacing the old Chain Pier, which was primarily built as a landing stage for passenger ships crossing the English Channel. The 20's and 30's were 'The Golden Age' of the Pier. Development was halted in the late 30's as war spread throughout Europe. The middle section of Brighton Pier was removed and the deck was heavily mined to discourage the enemy using it as an invasion platform. The Pier re-opened in 1946 and prospered during the post-war years, as a new sense of freedom and fun engulfed the liberated nation.

This was the view we had from the fish and chip shop on the beach where we stopped for lunch. The sun was really hot and we had to shelter under a beach umbrella. Work commenced on the new Palace Pier in 1891 but continued slowly due to financial problems. On 4th December 1896 a mighty storm destroyed the old chain pier. The bulk of the new pier was completed by 1899 and, despite the fact it would take a further two years to complete the seaward end platform and an accompanying pavilion, it was decided that the official opening should go ahead.
The New Brighton Pier

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