First Base: 1822 -1847

Chapel to the Royal Pavilion

King George IV purchased a quarter share in the Castle Hotel in 1815 and in 1816 he bought another.

He then bought the remaining half in 1822, paying a total of £11,210 for the three purchases.

He connected the hotel ballroom with the Royal Pavilion by a covered passage which led into the table decker’s room between the banqueting room and the kitchen. The remainder of the hotel was sold off for £5,250 and demolished.

1822As we can see from this ground plan from 1821, drawn by John Nash during his redesign of the Royal Pavilion, the Castle Inn and the temporary Chapel are clearly labelled.

A William Tuppen was paid £3,687 for fitting up the chapel.

This print shows that in front of the north recess a gallery was built. The Royal pew was in the centre of the upper level- an unexpected arrangement when you consider that by that time the King had abandoned his apartments on the first floor in the Pavilion because he found the stairs difficult.

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The chapel was consecrated on 1 January 1822 by the Bishop of Chichester. In addition to the King’s household the chapel seated 400 and admission was by ticket only.

The King was present at services in the chapel on all his subsequent visits but did not come to Brighton after 1827. His successors, William IV and Queen Adelaide always attended services in the chapel. This image shows them sitting in the Royal pew on one occasion. Queen Victoria also worshipped there during her various visits up to 1845.

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Queen Victoria was not a fan of the Royal Pavilion she thought it was ostentatious and lacked privacy. In 1847, as part of a huge sell off of parts of the estate, the building was dismantled. The areas in lighter pink were sold off or destroyed.