2007 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: Geography of Great Britain

Population: 155,919
Ordnance Survey
OS grid reference: TQ315065
District: Brighton & Hove
Region: South East England
Constituent country: England
Sovereign state: United Kingdom
Ceremonial county: East Sussex
Historic county: Sussex
Police force: Sussex Police
Fire and rescue: {{{Fire}}}
Ambulance: South East Coast
Post office and telephone
Post town: BRIGHTON
Postal district: BN1, BN2
Dialling code: 01273
UK Parliament: Brighton Kemptown and Brighton Pavilion
European Parliament: South East England

Brighton is located on the south coast of England, and together with its immediate neighbour Hove forms the city of Brighton and Hove. Brighton is one of the largest and most famous seaside resorts in the United Kingdom.

With origins dating before Domesday, the ancient settlement of Brighthelmston emerged as an important health resort during the 18th century and a popular destination for day-trippers after the arrival of the railway in 1841. Brighton experienced rapid population growth reaching a peak of over 160,000 by 1961. Modern Brighton forms the part of a significant conurbation stretching along the coast West to Littlehampton, stretching to the east of Brighton, encompassing smaller, less built up areas like Rottingdean and Saltdean with a population of around 480,000.

Brighton is a popular tourist resort with numerous hotels, restaurants and entertainment facilities which additionally serve a substantial business conference industry. The modern city of Brighton & Hove is also an important educational centre with two universities and many English language schools.


In the Domesday Book, Brighton was called Bristelmestune and a rent of 4,000 herring was established. In June 1514 Brighthelmstone was burnt to the ground by French raiders during a war between England and France. Only part of St. Nicholas's Church and the street pattern of what is now The Lanes survived the attack. The first known drawing of Brighthelmstone was made in 1545 and depicts what is believed to be the raid of 1514.

Royal Pavilion
Royal Pavilion

During the 1740s and 1750s Dr Richard Russell of Lewes began prescribing the medicinal use of the seawater at Brighton to his patients. By 1780, development of the Regency terraces had started and the fishing village quickly became the fashionable resort of Brighton. The growth of the town was further encouraged following the patronage of the Prince Regent (later King George IV) after his first visit in 1783. He spent much of his leisure time in the town and constructed the exotic and expensive Royal Pavilion during the early part of his Regency.

The arrival of the railway in 1841 brought Brighton within the reach of day-trippers from London and rapid population growth from around 7,000 in 1801 to over 120,000 by 1901. The Victorian era saw the building of many of the famous landmarks in Brighton including the Grand Hotel (1864), the West Pier (1866) and the Palace Pier (1899).

After a number of boundary changes made between 1873 and 1952, the land area of Brighton had increased significantly from 1,640 acres in 1854 to 14,347 acres in 1952. New housing estates were established in the acquired areas including Moulsecoomb, Bevendean, Coldean and Whitehawk. Closer to the centre of town, a major slum-clearance development was initiated in the Hanover area. The replacement council housing, including Tarnerland near Richmond Street, stretches from the bottom of Albion Hill to the tower blocks at Mount Pleasant, and radically changed the local street layout.

More recently, gentrification of much of Brighton has seen a return of the highly fashionable image which had characterised the growth of the Regency period. Recent housing developments in the North Laine, for instance, have been kept in keeping with the local make up of the area.

In 1997 Brighton and Hove were joined together to form the unitary authority of Brighton and Hove, which in turn was granted city status by Queen Elizabeth II as part of the millennium celebrations in 2000.


Palace Pier
Palace Pier

The Royal Pavilion is a former Royal palace built as the home for the Prince Regent during the early 1800s and is notable for its Indian architecture and Oriental interior design. The building and surrounding grounds were purchased by the town in 1849 for £53,000.

Brighton Pier (or the Palace Pier) was opened in 1899 and is the largest pier in Brighton. It features a large funfair, restaurants and arcade halls.

The West Pier was built in 1866 and has been closed since 1975 awaiting renovation. The West Pier was one of only two Grade I listed piers in the United Kingdom until the pier burnt down in 2003. Plans for erecting a new landmark in its place – the i360, a 183m observation tower designed by London Eye architects Marks Barfield – were announced in June 2006. Plans were approved by the City council on 11 October 2006.

Created in 1883, Volk's Electric Railway runs along the inland edge of the beach from the Palace Pier to Black Rock. It is the world's oldest operating electric railway.


Brighton beach
Brighton beach


A major tourist attraction is the pebble beach, which has a variety of bars, restaurants, night clubs and amusement arcades. Together with the attractions further inland, these contribute to Brighton being sometimes erroneously referred to as "London-by-the-sea"; it certainly offers one of the most accessible tourist beaches from London.

Brighton beach has a designated official nudist area (south of the easterly part of Kemptown). This is unusual in that very few naturist beaches in the United Kingdom are located within urban areas.

Since the 1978 demolition of the open-air swimming lido at Black Rock, the most easterly part of Brighton's seafront, the area has been developed considerably and now features one of Europe's largest marinas. However, the site of the pool itself remains empty except for a skate park and graffiti wall, and further development is planned for the area including a high-rise hotel which has aroused public and media debate, mirroring the situation with proposals for the site of the King Alfred leisure centre nearby in Hove.

July 17, 2002. The Big Beach Boutique II over 250,000 fans saw Fatboy Slim play live.
July 17, 2002. The Big Beach Boutique II over 250,000 fans saw Fatboy Slim play live.

Night-life & popular music

Brighton is associated with notable popular music artists including The Levellers and Fatboy Slim. There are a large number of pubs and nightclubs. There are also many live music venues including the large Brighton Centre.

Seafront display of Minis after a London to Brighton drive
Seafront display of Minis after a London to Brighton drive

Public events

Brighton hosts a number of conferences including those held annually by major political parties, often based around the Brighton Centre, Grand Hotel and Metropole Hotel.

A wide range of sport and leisure clubs, in particular cycling and motoring clubs, annually hold London to Brighton events, culminating in a display on the Madeira Drive section of the seafront, which is closed to traffic for this purpose on many Sundays throughout the summer months.

Brighton Festival

Each May the city of Brighton and Hove hosts an arts festival. This includes organised processions such as the Childrens' Parade, outdoor spectaculars often involving pyrotechnics, and theatre, music and visual arts in venues throughout the city, some of which are brought into this use exclusively for the festival. The earliest feature of the festival, "Open Houses", are homes of artists and craftspeople, opened up to the public as galleries and usually selling the work of the inhabitant and their friends.

Museums and galleries

Brighton has a number of museums including the City-run Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, the Booth Museum of Natural History, the Brighton Fishing Museum and the Brighton Toy and Model Museum. There are many privately run galleries, including some in the arches on the seafront. A widespread practice is to display and sell art in cafés, and even bars.

Theatre and cinema

Major theatres in Brighton include the recently expanded Komedia and the Theatre Royal, and there are also several smaller theatres such as the Marlborough Theatre and Nightingale Theatre, both above pubs, which attract a variety of mostly local productions.

Brighton also has a long history of involvement with the film industry, and the Duke of York's Picturehouse has been in operation since 22 September 1910.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual community

Brighton has a substantial LGBT community, served by a high number of "scene" shops, bars and night-clubs in addition to a range of support organisations. It is often referred to as "the gay capital of Britain".

Brighton hosts a Gay Pride carnival every August, which attracts thousands of participants and spectators. It consists of a carnival style parade through the city and a party and funfair in Preston Park.


Brighton and Hove has a range of organisations supporting many of the faiths and ethnic minorities in the city, such as MOSAIC, a black- and mixed-parentage family group. The City Council promotes diversity in its charter.


The Jubilee Library pictured in 2006
The Jubilee Library pictured in 2006

The Lanes is a retail, leisure and residential area with the seafront at its southern edge. Partly characterised by a collection of narrow alleyways following the street pattern of the original fishing-based settlement, the resident businesses in The Lanes are predominantly jewellers, antique shops, restaurants and pubs.

Churchill Square is an indoor shopping centre with a floor space of 470,000 sq ft (43,663 m²) and includes 85 shops, 5 restaurants and 1,600 car parking spaces. It was originally built in the 1960s as an open-air pedestrianised shopping centre, but was completely rebuilt in 1998. Further mainstream retail areas include Western Road and London Road.

The North Laine area (a name often confused with The Lanes) is a retail, leisure and residential area situated immediately north of The Lanes. Its name derives from the Anglo-Saxon word "Laine" meaning a type of agricultural plot. The North Laine contains a mix of businesses dominated by cafés, avant-garde shops, and theatres. However, its character is gradually changing. Due to property price rises and the expense of local council taxes, many small privately owned businesses are being literally "priced out" of the area and being replaced by larger entertainment chains and leisure companies. To counterbalance this, Orbit housing association and the city council have built some affordable properties in the North Laine for people on low incomes.

Brighton has a high density of businesses involved in media in general, particularly digital or "new media" companies, and since the 1990s has sometimes been referred to as "Silicon Beach"; there is even a suite of offices with this name. The new media community in Brighton has been supported by a number of initiatives, in particular Wired Sussex – a not-for-profit business development agency for over 1,200 digital media companies across the South East of England.

American Express has a distinctive (former headquarters) building in Edward Street.


Brighton & Hove City Council is responsible for 80 schools in Brighton and Hove of which 54 are in Brighton.

The University of Brighton, the former Brighton Polytechnic, has a student population of 20,017 of which 80% are undergraduates. The University is located on several separate sites in Brighton, with additional buildings in Falmer and Eastbourne.

The University of Sussex is a " plate glass university" based on a campus between Stanmer Park and Falmer, four miles from the city centre. It has a student population of 10,563 of which 70% are undergraduates.

A wide range of non-university courses for students aged over 16, mainly in vocational education subjects, is provided at the further education college, City College Brighton & Hove.

Roedean School, Brighton
Roedean School, Brighton

There are various private schools, including Brighton College, Roedean School, a Steiner School and a Montessori School. There are also numerous state schools, some of them faith schools. Notable state schools include Varndean and Cardinal Newman a large Roman Catholic secondary school, which also caters for the children of the city's large Coptic Orthodox community.

In the summer, thousands of young students from all over Europe gather in the city to attend language courses at some of the many language schools across Brighton and Hove.

There is also a specialist music college, The Brighton Institute Of Modern Music.


The city of Brighton and Hove is covered by part of the Brighton Kemptown constituency, Brighton Pavilion constituency and Hove constituency in the Parliament of the United Kingdom. All three Members of Parliament elected at the 2005 General Election were from the Labour Party. The city is within the European Parliament constituency of South-East England.

The Green Party held a relatively high 22% of the vote in the Brighton Pavilion constituency in the 2005 general election, compared with 1% nationally, in addition to holding one of the ten European Parliament seats for the constituency.

The political campaigning group Justice? and its SchNEWS newspaper are based in Brighton, as is the Brighton and Hove Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

The presence of a British subsidiary of the United States arms company EDO Corporation in Moulsecoomb, Brighton, has been the cause of ongoing protests outside their premises since 2004.


Brighton is the home of Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club and the Brighton Bears basketball team. There is also an annual beach soccer competition held in a temporary stadium erected on a patch of specially imported sand on the beach. The inaugural contest in June 2002 featured football stars such as Éric Cantona and Matthew Le Tissier.

Brighton also has a horse-racing course with the unusual feature that when the full length of the course is to be used, some of the grass turf of the track has to be laid over the tarmac at the top of Wilson Avenue, a public road, which therefore has to be closed for the duration of races.

Brighton is also home to Brighton Football Club (RFU) which is one of the oldest Rugby Clubs in England.


Brighton & Hove Bus showing mid-1990s non-METRO-route livery
Brighton & Hove Bus showing mid-1990s non-METRO-route livery

Railway services operate from Brighton Station. Destinations include London Victoria, Portsmouth and Bedford. Twice-daily services also operate to Birmingham and Manchester, and via Bristol to Wales. The fastest service from London Victoria takes 51 minutes.

Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company operates a local bus service with a fleet of approximately 300 buses. There is also a limited night-bus service.


According to a display in Brighton Museum, Brighton has the oldest continuous electricity supply in the world, which commenced in 1882. Other towns had electricity supplies slightly earlier, but these have not been running continuously to the present day. Brighton's first power station has been listed as the first "large" power station in the world.

Brighton's nearby neighbour, Hove, is seen by some as a more desirable location than Brighton and it is often referred to by locals as "Hove, actually". This is because when a questioner asks a Hove resident whether they live in Brighton, they are frequently met with the response "Hove, actually!".

The Parker Brothers game, Monopoly has been produced in a special Brighton edition.

According to the Boho Britain creativity index developed by United States economic regeneration expert Richard Florida, the city of Brighton and Hove ranks sixth amongst the largest 40 of 66 British cities when measured against the three criteria of his creativity index. Florida states that the index measures the appeal of cities to the new " creative class" and are a key indicator of a city’s economic health. In forming this result he also rates the city as first in terms of sexual diversity, eight for patent applications, and sixteenth for ethnic diversity.

Retrieved from ""