History Of Brighton And Environs - Online Book

From The Earliest Known Period To The Present Time.

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124
town is situated on a declivity formed by the shelving of the cliff, and to the west is the river, the mouth of which forms the harbour. Immediately facing the shore is an elegant building called the Caroline Baths, which was finished in the beginning of the year 1828, but as the name does not convey the purposes of the erection, we will describe it more particularly. In the centre is an archway supported by Ionic columns and adorned with statues of marine deities, where are small rooms in which the people live who look after the place : on each side of this is a covered walk about fifteen feet wide, and at the end of each walk is a handsome and spacious room, the one on the last side fitted up as a reading and the other as a billiard-room. This constitutes the whole of the building, and the process of immersion is carried on in the sea. The bathing machines, which are not on wheels, are stationed before the building in two divisions, that on the east being allotted to the ladies, and that on the west to the gentlemen. The former, when attired in their bathing-gowns, are carried into the sea by men appointed for that purpose, and generally remain there a considerable time, continually jumping up and sinking down with each wave in the most original manner! In the evening the gardens belonging to the baths and the building itself form the fashionable promenade of the town.
The Pier is situated west of the town and at the east side of the river. When the packets arrive this place is generally crowded; and the costume of the Norman inhabitants, with their high conical caps and brilliant coloured garments, presents a very striking contrast to that of the English peasantry.
No sooner is the vessel moored along the quay than the Custom-house officers take possession of the gang­way, and scrutinize the passport of every passenger previous to landing: the ordeal is very moderate as
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