Brighton timeline

Key dates in Brighton’s development

1740 The population of Brighton fell to an all time low of 1,000-1,500.
1750-53 First edition of Dr Richard Russell’s book advocating sea bathing as a cure and his move to Brighton to open a house and treatment centre.
1760 Mr Baker’s circulating library opened on the east side of the Steine, The Steine was now the fashionable centre of Brighton.
1762 Birth of George Augustus Frederick, Prince of Wales, later to become Prince Regent and King George IV.
1764 First plays performed in barn in Castle Square.
1769 Dr Awsiter’s baths built in Pool Valley.
1771 First visit of the Duke of Cumberland (Prince of Wales's uncle), who became the leader of the hunting, racing and gambling set.
1774 Opening of a prominent theatre in North Street managed by Roger Johnstone.
1775-6 New Assembly Rooms opened at The Old Ship Hotel and Castle Inn.
1783 The Prince of Wales’s first trip to Brighton to visit his uncle. The start of the Brighton Races.
1785 Secret marriage of the Prince of Wales to Maria Fitzherbert.
1786 North and South Parades built.
1787 The first rebuilding of the Prince’s house on the Steine by Henry Holland. It became known as the Marine Pavilion. Cobble and brick, bow fronted houses were being built around The Steine. The Lanes was also being rebuilt in the Georgian style.
1793-1815 Wars with France (with a brief respite by the Peace Treaty of 1802). Soldiers, including the Prince of Wales’s regiment camped and trained on the site of Regency Square
1795 Prince of Wales married Princess Caroline of Brunswick.
1798 Building of Royal Crescent by J.B. Otto, a west-indian speculator.
1803-8 Building of the Royal Stables in an Indian style, now The Dome.
1811-20 The Regency: George III was declared mad and his eldest son became Prince Regent.
1815-23 Nash’s external and internal alterations to the Prince’s house which became known as the Royal Pavilion.
1819 The Royal Albion hotel opened (on the site of Dr Russell’s house).
1819-22 Kings Road rebuilt.
1820 The Prince Regent is crowned George IV.
1821 Sake Dean Mahomed’s ‘Shampooing & Vapour Baths’ opened.
1822 Opening of John Ireland’s Pleasure Gardens and Cricket Ground
1823 Opening of the Chain Pier. Charles Busby moved to Brighton to work with Amon Henry Wilds at the invitation of Thomas Kemp.
1823 Start of the Kemp Town building project. The first houses occupied in 1826 although some parts were not completed until after 1850 when some sections were sold to the London developer Thomas Cubitt.
1824-28 Brunswick Town building began in Eastern Terrace in 1824. The first houses were ready for occupation in 1826 and the Terrace was finished in 1828. The Square was begun in 1825 and also complete by 1828. The northern end and the small round facades in the Square were later.
1825 Display of the designs of both Kemp Town and Brunswick Town at the Royal Academy. The ‘Wilds & Busby’ partnership ended.
1827 King George IV’s last visit to Brighton.
1830 Accession of William IV. Building started on Adelaide Crescent and is an example of the transition from Georgian to the Victorian Italinate style. Completed in 1860.
1832 Trial journey of Walter Hancock’s steam driven coach on the London to Brighton road. The journey took six hours.
1837 Accession of Queen Victoria.
1841 Opening of Brighton Railway Station (21st September). The journey between Brighton and London by express train was 1 hour 45 minutes.
1850 Queen Victoria sold the Royal Pavilion to the town of Brighton for £52,000 preferring the peace and solitude of Osborne House on the Isle of Wight which she had built at her own expense in 1845.