A Timeline of Brighton

By Tim Lambert

1000 AD Brighton is a small village

1185 St Bartholomews Church is first mentioned

1313 Brighton is given a charter (a document granting the people certain rights). Weekly markets are held and annual fairs.

1340 The sea ‘swallows’ 40 acres of farmland

1497 A bulwark is built to defend Brighton

1514 The French burn Brighton

1545 The French return but are driven off

1580 Brighton has a population of around 2,500. It has 80 fishing vessels.

1651 Charles II comes to Brighton while fleeing the Roundheads

1660 The modern name Brighton is first used

1665 A free school opens

1703 Brighton is severely damaged by a storm

1705 Another storm damages the town

1730 Encroachment by the sea causes great concern in Brighton

1739 Preston Manor is built

1750 Dr Richard Russell writes a book in which he claims bathing in seawater is good for your health. Afterward, Brighton develops as a seaside resort.

1774 The first theatre in Brighton opens

1783 The Prince of Wales visits Brighton. The population of Brighton is about 4,000.

1789 A grammar school opens

1793 Two new batteries are built at Brighton

1815 Brighton Pavilion is built

1821 A local newspaper is founded in Brighton

1824 Steamships begin operating between Brighton and France

1841 Brighton is connected to London by railway

1861 The population of Brighton is 65,000

1866 West Pier is built

1867 Brighton General Hospital is built

1872 An aquarium is built

1874 Preston Park opens. A museum and library opens.

1882 A telephone exchange opens in Brighton

1883 The electric railway begins

1888 The Clock Tower is built

1899 Palace Pier is opened

1901 The first electric trams run

1909 The first cinema opens in Brighton

1925 A boating pool is built

1936 A Rock Garden is laid out in Preston Park

1939 The last electric trams run in Brighton

1962 Sussex University is founded

mid-1960s Churchill Square is built

1975 West Pier closes