Bird’s Eye View of Brighton, 1839

This Bird’s Eye View of Brighton was produced by John Bruce in 1839. It is a view looking south down the central valley towards the sea.

What can we see?

Brighton Town Hall

Detail of print showing Brighton Town Hall

Situated in the old streets of the Lanes, Brighton’s Town Hall sometimes feels tucked away. Here it stands as an impressive landmark.

Construction work on the Town Hall had been completed in 1832, so the building was still fairly new at this point.


Detail of print showing the Gloster Hotel

Brighton was a popular seaside resort and contained numerous hotels.

The ‘Gloster Hotel’ is one of two that can be identified in this print.


Detail of print showing stables by Richmond Hotel

Horses were the main means of transport at this time. Several can be seen on the roads, but they also needed somewhere to rest and be fed.

Next to the Richmond Hotel we can see the facade of a building leading to an open area. This served as the stables for residents to the hotel.

Other transport

Detail of print showing donkeys

Horses were not the only means of transport. Here we can see three donkeys. These were often used for basic labour tasks, or offered as rides for entertainment.

Human labour was sometimes still necessary. We can see a woman in a bath chair being pulled along by an attendant.

Author: Kevin Bacon, Digital Manager

With thanks to @ArCarpenDigital for suggesting this image on Twitter.


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