Royal Pavilion, Brighton
Brighton & Hove
Title: Royal Pavilion, Brighton
Description: One of the most exotically beautiful buildings in the UK, the Royal Pavilion was originally a farmhouse, which was converted into a palace in 1787. Transformed into its current "Indian" style by John Nash between 1815 and 1823 for King George IV, the building has been lavishly restored to full Regency splendour.
Address: 4-5 Pavilion Buildings, , Brighton, East Sussex
Post Code: BN1 1EE
The fortunes of this once simple timber-framed farmhouse changed in 1786; the young Prince Regent (he later become George IV) had rented it in order to escape from public life for a while. Quarter of a million pounds in debt and now married to Mrs Fitzherbert, the Prince hoped that the romantic solitude and the distance from public life would allow the King or the Parliament to find a way to pay off his debt. But after a few months the Prince had decided that he wanted a palace by the sea and over the next 35 years, at a cost of one million pounds, the Royal Pavilion was created.
Henry Holland was given the task to turn the Princes dreams into reality and converted the farmhouse into a Palladian style palace. James Wyatt made a number of changes a few years later, but it was not until 1815 that John Nash was appointed to transform building into the exotic marvel that can be seen today.
It took until 1823 for the work to be completed; by this time the Prince had become King and was slowly moving from the public eye. Perhaps it was ill health, but by now he was only visiting Brighton occasionally, with his last trip here in 1827.
Sold to Brighton by Queen Victoria for the sum of £50,000 (the Brighton residents only agreed to purchase the building after a pole returned a majority of only 36 votes), the buildings were painstakingly restored in the 1980s. Filled with contemporary furniture on loan from Her Majesty the Queen, the rooms are now visited by more than 400,000 people per year.