Seaside resort in Brighton and Hove unitary authority, on the south coast of England; population (2001) 134,300. The city was part of the county of East Sussex until 1997. It is an education and service centre with two universities, language schools, and tourist and conference business facilities.
History Originally a fishing village mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Brighthelmstone or Brithelmeston, the city became known as Brighton at the beginning of the 19th century. In 1750, Dr Richard Russell proclaimed the therapeutic benefits of his Brighton sea-water cure and the area developed as a fashionable health resort, visited (from 1783) by the Prince of Wales (later George IV).
Features Brighton has 6 km/4 mi of promenade. West Pier (1866) is only one of two piers in Britain to be Grade I listed. It has remained largely unaltered since 1916 but has been closed since 1975 owing to storm damage, and it suffered more damage from fires in 2003. Palace Pier was built in 1899 to replace the Chain Pier, which had been destroyed by a storm in 1896. The Volk Railway (1883) runs along the seafront and is the oldest operational electric railway in the world. The Lanes area of the city contains 18th-century buildings on the medieval street plan of the original village. French raids in the 16th century destroyed much of the city's early architecture, the oldest surviving building being the 14th-century church of St Nicholas.
Other features include the Dome Theatre (1805), originally the royal stables; the Royal Pavilion, extensively remodelled by John Nash between 1815 and 1822; the Museum and Art Gallery, which includes art deco, English pottery, and British paintings from the 19th and early 20th centuries; Booth's Museum of Natural History, housing a large collection of stuffed birds; and a racecourse near the regal Kemptown estate. The largest International Arts Festival in England has been held in Brighton annually since 1966. Devil's Dyke, a large cleft in the 200 m/700 ft-high downs to the north of the city, offers long views across the Weald district.
Educational institutions The University of Sussex was founded in 1961. Built on the Stanmer estate, to the northeast of the city, it contains buildings designed by Basil Spence. The University of Brighton (formerly Brighton Polytechnic) was established in 1992. Roedean Girls' School was founded in 1885. Conference facilites include the Brighton Centre (1977).
Virtual Brighton and Hove
Royal Pavilion, Brighton
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Originally Brighthelmstone ‘Beorhthelm's farmstead’, OE Beorhthelmes possessive form of male personal name Beorhthelm + -TON ; the...
50 50N 0 10W A coastal resort in S England, in Brighton and Hove unitary authority, East Sussex. Originally a fishing village, its growth...