Category:Brighton Royal Pavilion

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Brighton's Royal Pavilion was originally a farmhouse building across the road from The Steine, but was extensively and repeatedly redeveloped and extended to become the current structure.

The Marine Pavilion

Carlton House's designer, Henry Holland, was hired to extend and enlarge the farmhouse into something more suitable, and the original building became one of two neoclassical wings flanking a central domed rotunda, known as the Marine Pavilion.

The Pavilion in 1788, before Nash's extravagant remodelling work

More land was purchased around the building and used to build an impressive and ornate set of stables, which is now the Brighton Dome complex (and now incorporates the Brighton Dome and Brighton Museum and Art Gallery).

The Royal Pavilion

Perhaps spurred by comments that his horses lived in a finer palace then he did, George then hired John Nash (the architect of the Houses of Parliament) to revamp the Pavilion to become something rather more palatial, the result being an almost obscenely opulent-looking building with onion domes and an Indian-style exterior, and Chinese and Indian-themed interiors, with as much decoration as could be crammed into the available space.

"The West Front of the Pavilion", from a drawing by Pugin, 1888
Engraving: "Brighton Pavilion Grand Entrance", circa ~1880s

Sale to Brighton, 1850

George died in 1830, and when Queen Victoria came to the throne in 1837 she didn't seem to approve of the Pavilion, which had a relatively small number of large rooms, whereas Victoria's family and entourage required a larger number of perhaps smaller rooms. The Pavilion was also too near the main road and Brighton was now starting to attract large numbers of day-trippers from London via the new railway line terminating at Brighton Station (1841). Victoria sold the Pavilion to Brighton in 1850, and had the loose fittings removed and taken away -- many of which subsequently migrated back to the Pavilion over the following years.

Magnus Volk and electric lighting, 1883

" ... it was soon after this that he became interested in electric lighting. This led to his appoint­ment as electrical engineer to the Corporation of Brighton, and in 1883 he lighted the Royal Pavilion estate electrically. This installation was then the largest of its kind in the country. A large chandelier in the Dome of the Pavilion was wired for 200 lamps, which had carbon filaments, and the 200 gas fittings in it were retained for possible use in emergency. This made Mr. Volk’s work more difficult, for his insulating materials had to be capable of withstanding the heat of the gas flames. "

The Career of Magnus Volk (1851-1937), Meccano Magazine 1937

World War One

The Pavilion was then used as a military hospital for Indian soldiers during World War One, leading to the donation of the India Gate to the town in 1921 by grateful supporters back in India (including the Maharajah of Patiala).

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