The Brighton Old Town Conservation Area includes the medieval fishing town area bounded by North Street, West Street, East Street and the seafront.
The Old Town Conservation Area was first designated in 1973 and extended in 1977. Somewhat surprisingly a Character Statement for the area has never been produced by the council. The Old Town was recently included on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register. Their reasons include vacant historic landmark buildings, the weight of traffic on Kings Road (which creates a barrier to the seafront) and poorly designed shop fronts. ...continue reading "Old Town Conservation Area Character Statement"
The Council has recently announced a new proposal for Madeira Terraces including self contained serviced glass fronted units within the terraces so that the spaces can be leased or rented as cafes, shops and other businesses. It hopes to completely replace the existing ironwork. The project is likely to cost £20 to £30 million, for which the Council will seek grants and loans. We welcome the principle of these proposals but await further detail to allay concerns about the replacement of the existing ironwork. Similar structures have suffered serious problems with damp penetration. We would also like to know more about the way the new structure will relate socially to the sea-front.
...continue reading "A new vision for Madeira Terraces?"
The 1888 Shelter Hall, originally constructed to allow the public to shelter from the rain, needs to be rebuilt in order to prevent Kings Road from collapsing. Directly beneath the junction of West Street and Kings Road, it is holding up one of the busiest junctions in the City (36,000 vehicles pass through it each day). It is badly corroded and currently held up by internal props. A government grant is in place for its complete replacement, enabling improvements to the road junction at the same time. The intention is to rebuild the Shelter Hall nearer the sea to allow these to take place.
The plans include a new retaining wall with foundations several metres below the beach and a remodelled lower promenade. A new mezzanine floor is to be included along with a rotunda above. The scheme also includes new public toilets and a new walkway to the beach.
The society welcomes the development. We suggest some public seating around the new building on the upper level and a public lift between the upper and lower promenades. We also suggest that the decorative mouldings on the southern façade of the existing building should be re-used on the new building, or facsimiles created if that is not feasible.
Dr Alexandra Loske traces how Victoria’s attitude to Brighton was shaped.
The first time young Victoria visited Brighton in October 1837, as a new and unmarried Queen of only 18, she was delighted by the welcome. “It was a beautiful reception and most gratifying and flattering,” she noted in her diary. “There were Triumphal Arches on all sides, and an amphitheatre was erected outside the gate of the Pavillion, filled with people.”
...continue reading "Why Queen Victoria sold the Pavilion"