Regency Society Image Collections
The Regency Society provides access for the public to two unique digital collections of historic images of Brighton and Hove.
The James Gray Collection
Images show (left to right):
Top: Bedford Hotel (now replaced by the Holiday Inn) Kingsway in the1880s, hounds on Kingsway en route to the Horse and Dog Show in Preston Park in 1930, entertainers on the lower promenade in the 1870s,
Middle: The West Pier in 1866, entrance to the Chain Pier in 1871, the Chain Pier finally destroyed in 1896,
Bottom: Hopson’s milliners on London Road in 1907, New England Railway viaduct in 1860 (with windmill in the background), a circus procession passes mansions on Kingsway between third and fourth avenues in Hove in 1899.
His vast collection of topographical pictures began in the 1950s with the chance acquisition of a few images showing the Western Road. From then on, he bought, swapped and commissioned a huge range of views of the city and beyond.
After his death in 1998, the Regency Society was lucky to buy the collection, which offers a unique photographic record and provides invaluable insight into the way our city has looked during the second half of the 19th and much of the twentieth century.
The 39 volumes of the James Gray Collection, contain around 7,500 annotated photographs arranged by area.
The Regency Society Brighton Prints Collection
The Society of Brighton Print Collectors has made available an extensive collection of prints of the Brighton and Hove area produced from the late eighteenth century onwards. You can visit this site, which was launched in November 2017, here.
A new project to update the website for the James Gray Collection
A project has been launched in November 2017 to create a new website for the James Gray Collection. Read more and get involved.
Top: Brighton seen from the Chain Pier. Steel engraving 1845. Reproduced courtesy of the Society of Brighton Print Collectors