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Royal Pavilion Estate Timeline

1787 - Marine Pavilion designed by Henry Holland.

1788 - Modest garden created. Circular lawn fronting the Steine.

1792 - Garden expanded. Still formal.

1793 - Promenade Grove opened on land opposite the Pavilion. Parts of it survive in front of Pavilion Gardens Cafe.

1801-1803 - Samuel Lapidge (Surveyor and pupil of Capability Brown) plants the garden. Informal gardens created and circuit walk surrounded by trees for privacy.

1804-1808 - Stables and Riding School built by William Porden.

1808 - Humphry Repton's plans for the garden not executed.

Before 1815 - High flint wall with small run of railings on top built.

1815- The Prince Regent is given poplar trees from the botanic garden at Liverpool. John Furner of Brighton, John Nash, and the royal gardener William Aiton plan the new garden at Brighton. First trees and shrubs arrive. Greenhouse built on the former Promenade Grove.

1815-1818 - Marine Pavilion enlarged.

1826 - Garden plan published in Nash's Views. Garden now about 7 acres. A picturesque garden with irregular shrubberies projecting into the lawns, forming changing patterns and views. Combination of trees, shrubs and plants for year round interest.

1830 - Death of George IV. William IV succeeds. Layout of garden simplified. More evergreens, conifers, rhododendrons and laurels. William IV recommends substituting the high wall surrounding the Pavilion by an open iron railing. Part of this may have been carried out but the high wall seems to have remained.

1831-1832 - William IV builds North and South gates. Carriage drive built. North Gate House orientalised. Dormitories for servants built between Pavilion Buildings and Prince's Place. Part ofthese survives behind All Bar One bar.

1837 - Victoria becomes Queen.

1847 - Pavilion stripped of contents.

1849 - In Pavilion Purchase Bill The Lawns and Pleasure Grounds were to remain and be kept open to the Public for the purpose of exercise, recreation and amusement on every day between 25 March and 29 September from 6.00 am to sunset, and from 29 September to the 25 March from 8.00 am to sunset; but subject to such bye-laws, rules, orders, and regulations as to the decent and proper use and enjoyment of the same, as the Town Commissioners ...may determine.

1850 - Royal Pavilion bought by Town Commissioners.

1851 - Grounds opened to the public. Road in front of Pavilion constructed. South Gate demolished and replaced with two domed Mughal archways 40 yards to the north of the original gate. This gate replaced in 1921.Large complex of service buildings south and west of Great Kitchen demolished.

1875 - James Shrives creates shaped areas for bedded out plants.

1878 - Exotic tropical plants shown in Pavilion grounds.

1893 - Prince's Place entrance to Pavilion grounds opened.

1900 - The high flint walls surrounding the estate taken down and replaced with low brick and flint wall topped with railings 'so that the passing public...can obtain a better view of the grounds'.

1921 - Indian Memorial Gateway built.

1922 - Road widening reduces size of garden.

1921-1923 - Indian style parapet designed by Captain B Maclaren flanking the Eastern lawns replaced the 1900 railings.

1939 - Gilding on the Dome lantern removed for fear of air raids.


1941 - Temporary wooden hut erected as the first Pavilion Gardens Café, adjacent to the north side of the Royal   Pavilion. This was the result of the original beach café being shut in 1940 when Brighton beach was fortified with the threat of a German invasion.

1950 - The permanent Pavilion Gardens Café was built at its current location at the west side of the estate near New Road.


1975 - The music room in the Royal Pavilion suffered an arson attack, damaging the roof space and burning the curtains in the room.

1980 - Beginning of research on the history of the Regency garden.

1981/2 - Beginning of garden re-modelling on original designs. First shrubberies created on East front. Only plants available before 1830 used.

1984 - WC's reconstructed and rebuilt in Royal Pavilion Garden off Prince's Place, Brighton.

1987 - The Great Hurricane caused damage to not only the Pavilion but also to many trees within the estate. A stone ball dislodged from one of the minarets on the roof and fell into the Royal Pavilion music room damaging the carpet. The storm also caused many trees to fall within the garden. This also caused two red telephone boxes to be crushed adjacent to the Pavilion Theatre on New Road.

1991-1992 - Road in front of Pavilion removed and turning circle re-instated, thus re-modelling original layout and re-uniting the Pavilion with its intended setting.

1995 - Paths and planting established on the West front.

1996 - Garden listed Grade II by English Heritage.

2014 - 'Estate' fencing obtained from Kensington Palace and installed in area adjacent to Prince's Place.

2017 - The Grade 2 listed garden was put on the At Risk register by Historic England.


1993 Gardens re-modelling on original designs
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