This room is currently closed so please head straight to Stop 24.
You are now in what used to be George’s Bedroom, the final room of our tour.
In 1850, when Queen Victoria decided to sell the Palace, Lewis Slight was Clerk to the Town Commissioner of Brighton and the resourceful leader of the campaign to buy the Royal Pavilion rather than see it demolished and its land sold off to property developers. Slight’s campaign had the support of Brighton’s two MPs, as well as 7,500 members of the public who signed a petition to save the building. However there was also a lot of local opposition to the purchase. A referendum was held in November 1849 and upheld the decision to buy the Pavilion by a majority of only 36 votes. The Royal Pavilion was sold to the Town commissioners of Brighton the following year, for the sum of £53,000.
Many of the items removed from the Pavilion were used to decorate Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace and Windsor, where they can still be found today, although some have been returned and reinstated and others have been kindly loaned by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Today the Royal Pavilion and its restored regency gardens continue to be owned and run by the City of Brighton & Hove. Much of our conservation, learning and exhibition work is also funded through grants from bodies such as the Arts Council and through charitable Trusts, most significantly The Royal Pavilion & Museums Foundation. You can find out more about the Foundation and its current appeals or make a donation to support the work of the Trust in this room.
We are almost at the end of our tour.
Please take care as you continue down the stairs, and follow signs for the Exit.
‘My name is Robert Hill-Snook and I’m in charge of the gardens at the Royal Pavilion. The gardens are very important really, historically, because they would have been the first sort of landscaped gardens around a building for quite a while. And the style is very much in the sort of natural style. In fact the style is called ‘nature assisted’ and John Nash, who was the original designer, would have looked to the countryside for inspiration. And so hence when you walk around the garden you’ll see a lot of native plants, but juxtapositioned with plants coming in new at the time, it was the very early stages of plant hunting but they were bringing things back from China and India and the Americas and there is a link, obviously, between the interior of the Pavilion with the Chinese style and the outside and the hand-painted wallpapers that you see inside with flowers and birds, you will see quite a few of those flowers growing in the garden, like the chrysanthemum and the Chinese lantern, the physalis.’