Pavilion Tales – Secret Histories of Brighton Pavilion
Join us in the magnificent Music Room for secrets, stories and unexpected histories in these regular pop-up talks by Royal Pavilion & Museums staff. These talks take place on Thursdays from 12 midday-12.30pm, in the Music Room at Brighton Pavilion and are run by the Royal Pavilion and Museums staff.
The Royal Pavilion has been occupied by many different residents during its vibrant history. It was built in 1787 as a palace of pleasure by the sea, for George IV. It has since served as both a civic building and a military hospital. The building, designed by John Nash, is well known for its Indo-Islamic exterior, and exhibits elements of Chinese and Indian fashion, that was becoming a popular alternative to the more mainstream tastes of regency architecture.
Once George IV died in 1830, his successor King William IV often visited Brighton and also stayed in the Pavilion. It was Queen Victoria who disliked Brighton and the lack of privacy the Pavilion allowed. Famously, Queen Victoria disliked the constant attention she attracted in Brighton, saying “the people here are very indiscreet and troublesome”. Additionally, she felt it was too small for her growing family, so after her final visit there in 1845, the Government sold the Pavilion to the Brighton under the Brighton Improvement (Purchase of the Royal Pavilion and Grounds) Act 1850.
In the past talks have included an investigation into the Regency music played at the Pavilion, in which Emily Hall, Visitor Services Officer, explained the history of the musical style and the instruments that were played at the Royal Pavilion under George’s reign. There has been a talk on the Pavilion’s copperware collection by Nick Kay and Ted Ward, which was based around the different techniques for the care and observation of the Pavilion’s copper artefacts.
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Indian Military Hospital at the Royal Pavilion a talk on this subject took place, that investigated the photographs of the Pavilion as it was in WWII. This talk and included an inspection of the Pavilion photograph archives that are rarely seen. Other past talks have included Inside George’s Breeches: The Health of George IV, The Most Magneficent Kitchen of All and Colour in the Royal Pavilion.
These talks promise to enrich the experience of anyone visiting the pavilion. Since they are no extra charge once admission to the Pavilion has been paid, why not try to catch one, and learn a little more of Brighton’s history.