Brighton ( ) is a town in
the city of Brighton and
Hove (formed from the towns of Brighton, Hove, Portslade and several other villages) in East Sussex on the south coast of Great Britain.
For administrative purposes, Brighton and
Hove is not part of the non-metropolitan
of East Sussex, but remains part of the ceremonial county
The ancient settlement of Brighthelmston
dates from before
(1086), but it emerged
as a health resort during the 18th Century and became a destination
after the arrival of
in 1841. Brighton experienced
rapid population growth reaching a peak of over 160,000 by 1961.
Modern Brighton forms part of a conurbation
the coast, with a population of around 480,000.
Eight million tourists a year visit Brighton. The town also has a
substantial business conference
industry regularly hosting the Liberal Democrat, Labour Party
, occasionally the Conservative Party
and Trade Union
annual Conferences. Brighton has two
universities and a medical school.
In the Domesday Book
, Brighton was
and a rent of 4,000 herring
was established. In June 1514
Brighthelmstone was burnt to the ground by French raiders
during a war between England and France.
of the St Nicholas Church and the street pattern of the area now known as
The first drawing of
Brighthelmstone was made in 1545 and depicts what is believed to be
the raid of 1514.During the 1740s and 1750s, Dr Richard Russell of Lewes began
prescribing seawater at Brighton.
1780, development of the Georgian
had started and the fishing village became the
of Brighton. Growth of the
town was further encouraged by the patronage of the Prince Regent
(later King George
) after his first visit in 1783. He spent much of his leisure
time in the town and constructed the Royal Pavilion
during the early part of
arrival of the railway in 1841 brought Brighton within the reach of
day-trippers from London and
population growth from around 7,000 in 1801 to over 120,000 by
1901. The Victorian
era saw the building of many major attractions including the
Hotel , the West Pier and the Palace Pier .
After boundary changes between 1873 and 1952, the land area of
Brighton increased from 1,640 acres (7 km²)
1854 to 14,347 acres (58 km²)
housing estates were established in the acquired areas including
Moulsecoomb, Bevendean, Coldean and Whitehawk. The major expansion of 1928 also incorporated
the villages of Patcham, Ovingdean and Rottingdean, and much council housing was built in parts of
Woodingdean after the Second World
More recently, gentrification
of Brighton has seen a return of the fashionable image which
characterised the growth of the Regency period. Recent housing in the
Laine, for instance, has been designed in keeping with
Brighton and Hove were joined to form the unitary authority of Brighton and
Hove, which was granted city status by Queen
Elizabeth II as
part of the millennium celebrations in
Pavilion is a former
royal palace built as a home for the Prince Regent during the early
1800s and is notable for its Indo-Saracenic architecture and Oriental
The building and grounds were purchased by
the town in 1849 for £53,000. Other Indo-Saracenic buildings in Brighton
include the Sassoon
Mausoleum, now, with the bodies reburied elsewhere, in use as
a chic supper club.
Brighton Pier (originally and in full "The Brighton Marine Palace
and Pier", and for long known as the Palace Pier) opened in
It features a funfair
restaurants and arcade halls. .
Pier was built in 1866 and has been closed since 1975
awaiting renovation, which faces continual setbacks, The West Pier
is one of only two Grade I listed
piers in the United
Kingdom, but suffered two fires in 2003.
a new landmark in its place – the i360, a 183m
(600 ft) observation tower designed by London Eye architects Marks Barfield – were announced in June
Plans were approved by the council on 11 October 2006.
As of early 2009, construction had yet to begin, but the area has
been cordoned off.
in 1883, Volk's
Electric Railway runs along the inland edge of the beach from
Brighton Pier to Black Rock and Brighton Marina.
It is the world's
oldest operating electric
Churches & places of worship
century St Nicholas Church is the oldest building in Brighton, commonly known
as "The Mother Church". Other notable churches include the large
brick-built St Bartholomew's, and St Peter's in the heart of Brighton on an island between the
Lewes Road and the London Road.
There are four synagogues in the Brighton area, including the
Brighton & HoveProgressive Synagogue (Liberal) at 6 Landsdowne
Road in Hove; Brighton and Hove Hebrew
at 66 Middle Street Brighton (Orthodox), Hove Hebrew Congregation
Holland Road in Brighton (Orthodox) and Brighton & Hove Reform
Palmeira Av, Hove (Reformed). Middle Street Synagogue,
is an important Grade II listed building built in
1874-5, and one of the most beautiful small synagogues in Europe.It
is presently in the process of being gradually restored by English Heritage
. About 12% of the
population of the Brighton & Hove conurbation are of Jewish
ancestry, with a little less than half presently practicing some
form of Judaism, according to a 2007 study by the European Jewish
Nevertheless, Brighton has become known as one of the least
religious places in the UK, based upon analysis of the 2001
which revealed that 66,955 people (27
per cent of the population) profess no religion, almost double the
national average of 15 per cent. As part of the Jedi census phenomenon
, 2.6 per cent
claimed their religion was Jedi Knight.
The seafront has bars, restaurants, nightclubs and amusement
arcades, principally between the piers. Being less than an hour
from London by train has made the city a popular destination.
beach has a nudist area (south of the
easterly part of Kemptown).
Brighton's beach, which is a sand-free
, although it is sand
when you go into the sea, has been awarded a blue flag
. The Monarch's Way
long-distance footpath heads
west along the seafront above the beach.
1978 demolition of the open-air lido at Black Rock, the most
easterly part of Brighton's seafront, the area has been developed
and now features one of Europe's largest marinas. However, the site of the pool itself remains
empty except for a skate park and graffiti wall, and further
development is planned including a high-rise hotel which has
aroused debate, mirroring proposals for the King Alfred
leisure centre in Hove.
In addition, part of the eastern
side of the beach has been redeveloped into a sports complex, which
has courts for anything from beach
to ultimate Frisbee
and opened to the public in March 2007.
Night-life and popular music
Brighton is considered to be one of the UK's premier night-life
hotspots and is also associated with many popular music
artists — for a list, see
popular music of Brighton and Hove
. There are also live
music venues including the Concorde 2, Brighton Centre and the Brighton Dome, where ABBA received a
substantial boost to their career upon winning the 1974 Eurovision Song
One of the most prominent musical events has been the
irregularly-recurring "Big Beach
", for which a substantial portion of the beach is
controversially closed off for a concert by Fatboy Slim
over 300 pubs in the town, including the
historic Cricketers, the Evening Star real ale pub, The Greys gastropub, The Free
Butt music pub and the extravagantly decorated Regency Tavern.
Each May the city hosts the Brighton
, the largest arts festival in the UK after Edinburgh's
. This includes processions
such as the Children's Parade, outdoor spectaculars often involving
pyrotechnics, and theatre, music and visual arts in venues
throughout the city, some brought into this use exclusively for the
festival. The earliest feature of the festival, the Artists' Open Houses
, are homes of
artists and craftspeople opened to the public as galleries, and
usually selling the work of the occupants. Since 2002, these have
been organized independently of the official Festival and
Brighton Festival Fringe
runs alongside Brighton Festival, and has grown to be the second
largest fringe festival in the world.. Together with the street
performers from Brighton Festival's "Streets of Brighton" events,
and the Royal Mile
performances that make up "Fringe City", outdoor spectacles and
events more than double during May.
Other festivals include The Great Escape in May, featuring three
nights of live music in venues across the city; the Soundwaves
Festival in June, which shows classical music composed in the 21st
Century, and involves both amateur and professional performers;
Brighton Live which each September stages a week of free gigs in
pubs to show local bands; Burning the
, a winter solstice celebration; and Brighton Pride
(see lesbian, gay, bisexual
and transgender community, below). The Kemptown area has its own small annual street festival, the
Kemptown Carnival, and the Hanover area similarly has a "Hanover Day".
Beachdown Festival, started in 2008 has recently ceased operations
due to financial difficluties.
An inaugural White Nights (Nuit
) all-night arts festival took place in October, 2008.
2009 saw the first Brighton Zine Fest celebrating zine
September 2007, competitors from the United Kingdom, United States, Germany and other countries convened for the World Beard and Moustache
Hosted by The Handlebar Club
, categories include Dali
moustache, goatee and full beard freestyle. Additionally, Brighton
is permanent home to notable moustache advocate Michael "Atters" Attree
Brighton museums include Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, Booth
Museum of Natural History, Brighton Toy and Model Museum, and
Brighton Fishing Museum, which includes artefacts from the West
Pier. The Royal Pavilion is also open to the public, serving as a
museum to the British Regency
Theatre and cinema
include the Brighton Dome, the expanded Komedia (also used as a music venue) and the
Royal which celebrated its 200th anniversary in
There are also smaller theatres such as the
Marlborough Theatre and Nightingale Theatre, both above pubs, which
attract mostly local productions.
also has a history of involvement with the film industry, and the
York's Picture House has been in operation since 22 September
There are multiplex cinemas at West Street and the
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community
Brighton is well-known for having a substantial LGBT community,
served by shops, bars and night-clubs in addition to support
organisations. It is often referred to as "the gay capital of
Britain", Gay Pride
August attracts thousands. It consists of a carnival parade and a party
and funfair in Preston Park.
There is also a "Winter Pride" in
Brighton has a high density of businesses involved in media,
particularly digital or "new media", and since the 1990s has been
referred to as "Silicon Beach". According to the Boho Britain
creativity index developed by United States economic regeneration
expert Richard Florida
, Brighton and
Hove ranked sixth of 66 British new cities when measured against
the three criteria of his index. Florida states the index measures
the appeal of cities to the new "creative
" and is an indicator of a city’s health.
has plans to build
a new headquarters building on John Street, behind it's current
headquarters in Edward Street. It employs around 3000, the largest
private employer in the city.
Lanes" form a retail, leisure and residential area near
the seafront, characterised by narrow alleyways following the
street pattern of the original fishing village.
contain predominantly clothing stores, jewellers, antique shops,
restaurants and pubs. The North Laine area is a retail, leisure and residential area
immediately north of The Lanes.
Its name derives from the
Anglo-Saxon "Laine" meaning "fields". The North Laine contains a
mix of businesses dominated by cafés, independent and avant-garde
shops, and theatres. Churchill Square is an indoor shopping centre
with a floor space of 470,000
sq ft (43,663 m²) and over 80 shops, several restaurants and 1,600
car-parking spaces. It was built in the 1960s as an open-air,
multi-level pedestrianised shopping centre, but was rebuilt and
enlarged in 1998 and is no longer open-air. Further retail areas
include Western Road and London Road.
Brighton & Hove City Council is responsible for 80 schools of
which 54 are in Brighton.
of Sussex established in 1961 is a "plate glass university" based on a
campus between Stanmer
Park and Falmer, four miles
(6 km) from the city centre. Served by frequent
trains (to Falmer
railway station) and 24-hour buses, it has a student population of
10,563 of which 70% are undergraduates.
of Brighton, the former Brighton Polytechnic, has a student
population of 20,017 of which 80% are undergraduates.
University is on several sites with additional buildings in
Falmer, Eastbourne and Hastings.
the universities of Sussex and Brighton formed a medical school,
known as Brighton and Sussex Medical
The school was one of four new medical
schools to be created as part of a government programme to increase
the number of qualified NHS
doctors. The school is also based in Falmer and works closely with
the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust
A range of non-university courses for students over 16, mainly in
is provided at the further
, City College Brighton and Hove
. More academic subjects
can be studied for 16-18 year-olds atBrighton Hove & Sussex Sixth Form
College (BHASVIC) in the Seven Dials area.
College in North Brighton occupies a commanding
The 1920s building is celebrated for its façade
and internal quads. The college offers academic A levels
and vocational courses.
There are state schools
, some faith schools
state schools include Longhill High School Varndean
Secondary School, Patcham High School, Dorothy
Stringer, Blatchington Mill School and Sixth Form
College, Hove Park School and
Sixth Form Centre, Falmer High School and Cardinal Newman
(a large Roman Catholic
secondary school, which also caters for the children of the large
also a number of private
schools, including Brighton College, Lancing Prep,
School, Steiner School,
BHHS and a Montessori
As with the state schools, some independents are
faith-based; Torah Academy, the last Jewish
primary school, became a Pre-K/Nursery School at the end of the
In spring and summer, thousands of students from all over Europe
gather to attend language courses at the many language
and Hove is covered by part of the Brighton Kemptown constituency, Brighton Pavilion constituency and Hove constituency in the Parliament
of the United Kingdom.
- For the local authority, see Brighton and
All three Members of Parliament elected at
the 2005 General
were from the Labour
. The city is in the European Parliament
. The Green
held 22% of the vote in Brighton Pavilion constituency in
the 2005 general
, compared with 1% nationally, and topped the poll in
Brighton and Hove in the 2009
European Parliament elections
. Their leader, Caroline Lucas
, has sat as a Member of the European
for the South East Region since 1999.
The political campaigning group Justice?
and its SchNEWS
newspaper are based in
Brighton, at the Cowley Club
social centre; also operating from the town is the Brighton and
Hove Palestine Solidarity Campaign
. The presence of a
British subsidiary of the United States arms company EDO
Corporation in Moulsecoomb, Brighton, has been the cause of protests since
Brighton's citizens have developed a reputation in recent years for
their readiness to challenge the views of the council's planning
department. One of the main campaigning organisations is
'savebrighton', founded in 2007 to oppose the overdevelopment of
Savebrighton has also been active in
opposing other planning applications for developments it has
regarded as excessive, out of context or otherwise
Brighton and Hove is home to the Sussex County Cricket Club
on Eaton Road.Brighton is also the home of Brighton & Hove Albion
Football Club, who played at the Goldstone Ground for 95 years until they were forced to sell it in
1997 to pay off debts. The club spent two years ground-sharing at
Gillingham before returning to the
town as tenants of the Withdean Athletics Stadium. However, the club is due to move to a
permanent home at Falmer at the
start of the 2011/12 season.
The new stadium (yet to be
named) is currently under construction by The Buckingham Group, who
built the MK Dons
stadium. The club's
notable achievements including winning promotion to the Football League First
for the first time in 1979
staying there for four seasons, during the last of which they
reached the FA Cup final
to a replay
before losing 4-0. Notable former managers of the club include
, Peter Taylor
, Liam Brady
, Jimmy Case
, Brian Horton
, Steve Coppell
. Notable former players include Gareth Barry
, Justin Fashanu
, Dennis Mortimer
, Gordon Smith
, Frank Stapleton
, Howard Wilkinson
and Bobby Zamora
hosts what is commonly held to be the world's oldest motor race,
Speed Trials which has been running since 1905 on Madeira Drive
(the road being originally constructed for this purpose).
The event is organised by the Brighton and Hove Motor Club
and normally takes place on the 2nd Saturday in September.
There is also an annual beach soccer
competition in a temporary stadium on imported sand on the beach.
The inaugural contest in June 2002 featured football stars such as
and Matt Le Tissier
has a horse-racing course, Brighton
Racecourse, with the unusual feature that when the full length
of the course is to be used, some of the grass turf of the track
has to be laid over the tar at the top of Wilson Avenue, a public
road, which therefore has to be closed for the races.
There is a greyhound racing
run by Coral
, at which Motorcycle speedway
racing was staged in 1928.
Brighton is home to Brighton Football Club (RFU) which is one of
the oldest Rugby Clubs in England.
Basketball team Brighton Bears
in the British Basketball
before dropping out at the end of the 2005/06
Brighton Ultimate, an ultimate
team was set up in 1985.
Brighton Tsunami American Football Club was
started in 2000 for students of the University
It plays at the university's Falmer site,
between November and March.
Hove Petanque Club runs an
annual triples, doubles and singles competition, informal KOs,
winter and summer league, plus Open competitions with other
The club is affiliated to Sussex Pétanque
, the local region of the English
Pétanque Association, so you can also play at a Regional and
National level. The Peace Statue terrain is the official pétanque
terrain situated on the seafront near
the West Pier.
yachting clubs and other boating activities run from Brighton
Brighton has two competitive swimming
clubs. Brighton SC formed in 1860
claims to be the oldest swimming club in England. Brighton Dolphin
SC . was formed in 1891 as Brighton Ladies Swimming Club and met at
Brills Baths in Pool Valley.
Brighton is home to the headquarters of White Crane Martial Arts, a
martial arts organisation teaching traditional Tai Chi, Kung Fu and
Chinese Kickboxing.Brighton Judo
is located just opposite the European headquarters of
Public transport dates back to 1840. There are several railway
coach services. A Rapid
has been under consideration for some years
and in the past it has had trolleybuses, ferries, trams
trains operate from Brighton Station. Many Brighton residents commute to work in
London and destinations include London
Victoria, London Bridge, and Gatwick
Airport, with trains continuing to Bedford.
The fastest service from London Victoria
takes 51 minutes. Lines west and east from Brighton serve
stations to Worthing, Portsmouth and Southampton in the west and via Lewes to Newhaven, Eastbourne, Hastings and Ashford,
Kent in the east. A wider range of long-distance
destinations was served until 2007-08 when rationalization caused
the ending of services via Kensington Olympia and Reading and beyond to Milton Keynes, Birmingham and Manchester. Twice-daily services remain, however, on the
line west to Bristol.
Hove Bus and Coach Company
operates 300 buses. There is also a
limited night service. Brighton seafront is the home of Volk's
Electric Railway, the world's oldest electric railway.
Brighton in fiction
References and notes
- Carder, Timothy (1990). The Encyclopaedia of Brighton.
S.127 East Sussex County Libraries. ISBN 0-86147-315-9
- Carder (1990), s.17
- Carder (1990), s.71
- Carder (1990), s.127
- Carder (1990), s.13
- The Argus newspaper
- The Argus newspaper
- The Argus newspaper
- Pier Threatens To Unplug Rival (from The
- BBC NEWS, Bearded wonders go head to head
American Express building
- Brighton Argus (newspaper) article
- Map Of
Brighton & Hove Interactive map of Brighton & Hove,
with locations of businesses and other points of interest