The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

Home | Order | Support | About | Contact | Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

BRIGHTON                             197
One of the great landmarks of old Brighton was the Chain Pier, erected on the principle of a suspension bridge in 1822 by Captain Browne, R.N. The timbers were thickly studded with nails, the pier-head, 80 feet by 40 feet, was paved with flagstones, the whole effect was far more agreeable than that of more modern structures. By the great storm of December 4, 1896, it was entirely destroyed, and the whole front was strewn with wreckage more complete than would have been produced by artillery fire, if one may judge by the damage visible at Lady smith just after the siege. Brighton still presents her best side to the sea, and by far the most impressive view of the place is from the deck of a steamer; the long line of houses fronting the Esplanade from Aldrington to Kemp Town, and the tier after tier of large buildings that cover the Down­side just above, produce an effect that in its own way is hardly surpassed in the world. A very wide view of the inland parts is to be had from the Lewes Viaduct over the central valley; a polite and delightful Frenchman who had just landed at Newhaven, and was outside his own country for the first time, after gazing down on the slates and chimneys, sized it all up pretty well by ex­claiming to the present writer, " Ah! c'est tres pratique." In 1839 was laid with Masonic honours the first stone of the Roman triumphal arch by which the railway crosses New England Hill; it still exists, but has been enlarged to a regular tunnel.
Literary associations of Brighton of one kind or another are innumerable. Dr. Johnson visited it. Not a few men of eminence in philosophy, journalism, or literature, such as '[r Horace Smith,
Previous Contents Next