Royal Pavilion

Brighton, United Kingdom | C.1787

Photo Credit: Estée Angéline Alleno-Powell

The Royal Pavilion is a palace-turned-museum located in the English coastal town of Brighton. Originally built as a private getaway for King George IV, the Pavilion would go on to host many members of the English monarchy including Queen Victoria.

In 1783, then 21-year-old Prince George visited Brighton under direction of his physician who suggested that the seaside town’s fresh air and saltwater would help alleviate his gout. Charmed by Brighton – and also under investigation by Parliament for incurring exorbitant costs for a different mansion – George rented a modest farmhouse in a grassy area in town.

A few years later, George decided to expand the farmhouse – he would commission three separate architects to do so. Employing a French neoclassical style, Henry Holland initially added a breakfast room, dining room, and library. Decades later, the Pavilion earned a new dining room and conservatory designed by Peter Frederick. Finally, a riding school and stables were constructed to the designs of William Porden.

Yet, George wasn’t finished. Between 1815 and 1822, the Pavilion was again extravagantly expanded to include domes and minarets, and employing Indian and Chinese influences. It would be considered one of the most magnificent structures in England and would also become a prime example of exoticism that prevailed in early 19th-century Regency architecture.

After King George’s death in 1830, the Pavilion was ultimately passed to Queen Victoria. Yet, for all the opulence she inspired, the Queen disliked visiting the Pavilion for the extra attention she got in town, and instead purchased a summer home on the Isle of Wight. During WW1, the Pavilion was used as a military hospital. Now owned by Brighton, the Royal Pavilion is a public museum aimed to restore the residence to its original state.

AWA Community Insight:
elitist207 Also known as ‘mechanics institutes’, Schools of Arts were educational establishments, originally formed to provide adult education, particularly in technical subjects, to working men. It’s the name given to such local halls in many Australian country towns.

 

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