The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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hands it is a somewhat sordid story; some people can be ludicrous in their failings, but George IV. was merely swinish. Brighton has changed very much since those days : the building which once as the ball-room of the Castle Tavern resounded with the uncouth howls of the royally drunk, and of drunken royalty, now as St. Stephen's Church, moved to quite another part of the town, echoes with far different sounds. It was the Pavilion Chapel for a time; the building in North Street, called the Chapel Royal, was built by a former Vicar of Brighton, as a chapel of ease to St. Nicholas, but the foundation-stone was laid by the Prince, and there are still to be seen the Royal Arms with the original date, 1793, while the right to the designation of Chapel Royal is recognised by an Act of Parliament.
The Old Steine, used in early days as an open space for almost every purpose, is said to have derived its name from the chalk cliffs or from stones where the fishers spread their nets. The form of Stein (as it used to be written) is owed, according to Dunvan (p. 228), to the Flemings who occupied the town at the time of the Conquest, and were the more welcome as Queen Matilda's compatriots.
The Pavilion Gardens are just north of it; the Palace was constantly being built and then pulled about and rebuilt, with the result that it does not suggest a quarter of the money that was squan­dered on it. In its present form it is chiefly the creation of John Nash (1752-1835), who in Bucking­ham Palace equipped our Metropolis with the ugliest royal residence in the world, and who is let down very lightly in the Dictionary of National Biography with the remark: " His style lacks
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