Illustrated diary of Frances Sayer's visit to Brighton in 1818

Historical Background

Frances Sayer was visiting at a time when Brighton was growing as a bathing resort frequented by the Prince Regent, whose summer palace, the Pavilion, was still under construction.

“On 21st of May 1818, we left our residence in Charter House Square in Carriage and four, for Miss Lane’s Villa Bedford Row Brighton, this place is very large and is enlivened during some part of the Summer by the Prince Regent’s residing at the Pavilion which is now being considerably enlarged and ornamented, apparently in the Chinese Style….The bathing does not appear to be very good, for the descent into the Sea is so rapid, as to preclude the possibility of pushing the machines in deep enough to jump into the Sea.  The Chalybeat [source of health-giving mineral water] is situated near the Sea, the water is not very strong and as they charge 6d. per glass I imagine that they have not much custom.  Pakets sail every day from this place to Dieppe, wind and weather permitting, great numbers of People go by them, one that we saw land brought 24 passengers besides dogs, parrots and other animals, which combined with the sickness under the influence of which they all suffered, rendered it almost impossible for them to walk to the Inn.  The Prince’s statue in the crescent is going to decay very fast having lost one hand and being otherwise much mutilated.”


Frances added a later postscript on a later visit to Brighton:


“The Pavillion is not yet finished but it appears to me to be a very foolish undertaking, and after spending as I understand three millions part of it is now to be taken down again, as His Majesty does not like it.”

  • Date details


  • Institution

East Sussex Record Office

  • Original reference

Say 3394

  • Period

Late Modern Period

  • Thematic

Tourism and Culture


Brighton – East Sussex Record Office

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