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The seaside and the Regency period come together to define Brighton's characteristics of elegance, fun and frivolity. The city today is still a magnet for pleasure-seekers, even if royalty and high society have been replaced by clubbers and hen parties. This panel showcases some of our fabulous Regency architecture and explains a little about the period that saw a little fishing village become the smartest resort in the world.
Queen Victoria did not care for Brighton but the hordes who arrived here on the railway that opened four years after she came to the throne in 1837 certainly did, making Brighton London-by-the-sea. Many of the great squares, crescents and terraces that we think of as Regency were still being built, while the ochre brick mansions that give parts of Hove its imposing character date from this period too.
20th century energy
Slums were cleared, high rise flats soared over their 19th century neighbours, cinemas brought glamour then retreated in the face of competition from television. The inter-war period saw a vibrant clash of modernist style and neo-classicism but much post-war building was bland and boxy and the last major development was the marina, built on reclaimed foreshore under the chalk cliffs in the east of the city.
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