Brighton’s Royal Pavillion Deemed ‘At Risk’ by Assesors

Steven Baker/Historic England

Brighton’s very own Royal Pavilion Garden, which surrounds the John Nash-designed Royal Pavilion has been deemed ‘at risk’ by assessors at Historic England.

The grounds surrounding the pleasure palace built for the future King George IV have been identified on a nationwide annual health-check of the UK’s special and vulnerable historic places, which added 328 sites this year, which was carried out by Historic England.

Its Regency serpentine walks, drives, open lawns, shrubs and trees have fallen victim to the garden’s popularity with visitors, who often use the historic grounds as a park for drinking and picnics with friends. Anyone wandering the streets of Brighton in the evenings after events such as Brighton Pride, the Brighton Marathon, and maybe even at this years Halloween celebrations, will be aware of the large crowds that gather on the grass which isn’t a problem in and of itself, but produced negative externalities that are damaging this historically important site.

Recent attempts to curb the negative behaviours of visitors to ‘Pav Gardens’ have been made to some practical success; the introduction of more refuse points has reduced the amount of litter strewn across the green and blown into the bushes; fencing around the Royal Pavillion steps has stopped visitors from damaging the building’s exterior, but the ‘at risk’ assessment from Historic Englands annual health-check gives pause to the long-term practicality of these new measures.

Historic England warn that the garden’s character is being blighted by fencing, litter bins, signage and lighting, and are now working with Brighton and Hove council to develop a conservation management plan.

How do you feel about the current state Brighton’s Royal Pavillion? Have you lived here long enough to notice any changes? Do you think this is all fuss over nothing? Let us know!

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