INTRODUCTION: THE ROYAL
streets to the east of the Palace Pier sprang up between
the 1780s and 1870s as the fishing town of Brighthelmstone, or
Brighton, exploded in popularity into Europe's most fashionable seaside
The wealthy flocked
to spend the 'season' promenading, going to balls and meeting their
friends. Many came to bathe in and drink the sea water, which they
cured a whole range of ailments from arthritis and melancholia to
abscesses and tumours. Others merely enjoyed
the sea air, said to give 'health, spirits and a ravenous appetite'.
By 1783, Brighton had caught the
eye of the
fun-loving Prince of Wales -
nicknamed Prinny - who later became George IV.
George was a drinker and gambler
but also a
fashionable man of taste. He
arrived not long after his 21st birthday and was delighted with the
He returned again and again and built himself a wildly exotic and
ruinously expensive holiday home,
the Royal Pavilion.
Suddenly Brighton, which had
principal streets, was bursting at
the seams. Its population rocketed from 3,500 in 1780 to more than
in 1831. The eastern area, rising to 80ft above the sea, was regarded
particularly bracing and healthy place to live.
Originally known as
re-named King's Cliffe in 1908 to
mark a visit by Edward VII. Today it is a colourful district, rich in
heritage, with over 500 listed buildings and structures.