Wednesday Wander – The Brighton Pavilion

img_0137You may think that this week I’ve chosen to wander somewhere exotic, a Moroccan souk or Indian palace. Actually, I’m only an hour or so from where I live, in the lovely but much-less-exotic Brighton, on the south coast of England. This is the Brighton Pavilion.

img_0141The Pavilion actually started life as a much more modest farmhouse, which the Prince of Wales, later George IV, rented as a convenient place to see his longtime love, Maria Fitzherbert, whom he was forbidden to marry. In 1787 he decided he’d like grander accommodation, so incorporated the farmhouse into one wing of a larger building. Construction continued until 1822 and took several stages, with renowned architect John Nash overseeing the final phase, giving it the appearance it has today.

img_0132Brighton at the time was gaining in popularity as a seaside town, thanks to the Prince’s uncle, the Duke of Cumberland, who had held a residence there for several years. For many years the Pavilion was the summer home of the Royal Family, until Queen Victoria decided it was too ‘cramped’ and not private enough. She decided to move to the Isle Of Wight for her summer holidays instead, and so the Pavilion was sold to the town of Brighton in 1850, for the sum of £53,000, a fortune in those days (and not too bad today, either!)

img_0139The Pavilion is now open to the public, and features the most wonderfully opulent interiors. I didn’t go inside on my last visit but plan to do so next time, and of course I’ll share the photos when I do.

img_0135Even though the day I visited was bitterly cold, it was bright and clear, perfect for viewing fantasy minarets against an azure sky. In some ways it reminded me of Hearst Castle, another place built by a man to spend time with the woman he loved but couldn’t marry – a perfect folly.

Thanks for coming on another Wednesday Wander with me – see you next time!

If you enjoyed this post and want to read more, you can find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJ,  Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, A Thousand Rooms, is now available on Amazon.

28 thoughts on “Wednesday Wander – The Brighton Pavilion

  1. This is gorgeous. I’m reading a MG novel with my son right now (we LOVE this series: The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place) and they’ve just gone on holiday to the seaside town of Brighton so your post was extra fun. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  2. That’s one of my bucket list places to see. I’ve read so much about it, with all the Regency novels I’ve consumed in my time. Plus, every time I see the name Brighton, I hear the whine of Lydia Bennet from the 1995 Pride & Prejudice: “But I want to go to Briiiighton!” 🙂

    • Yes, it was on my list as well – quite a thrill to see it! And it’s right in the town centre – the stables that were part of the estate (in a similar style of architecture) are now a theater. I love that about living here – treasure in plain sight 🙂 Hope you get to see it one day.

    • Thank you, so glad you enjoyed the post! The Pavilion is fabulous, isn’t it? One of the favourite buildings I’ve seen, but then I love that sort of flamboyant architecture. I haven’t stayed at the Grand, but it does look rather wonderful – sadly, our Brighton visit was only a day trip last time I went. There’s always next time though… 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s