Pleasure Gardens in the City of Brighton and Hove
Pleasure gardens were essential recreational facilities in spa and seaside resorts before 1840 but the majority did not last long. Many were either modelled on or influenced by the pleasure gardens in London such as Vauxhall.
In the late eighteenth century and for a combination of reasons, Brighton became the biggest seaside resort in Britain. Pleasure gardens in this resort fell into two simple categories. The free pleasure gardens ran up from the sea northwards to where St Peter's Church was built in the mid 1820s, a wonderful eye-catcher from the south. These were maintained by the town's Commissioners.
Promenade Grove opened in 1793 in a large garden which had belonged to the Brighton home of Sir Lucas Pepys ( a well known doctor) and his wife (The Countess of Rothes). The land was sold to the Prince of Wales in 1802 when he sought to enlarge his estate and also close the north end of East Street which passed right past the Royal Pavilion.
Ireland's Gardens was an enterprise of Thomas Read Kemp (see separate entry) who invested £2,000 in its layout. It was on his newly enclosed land north of St Peter's Church. Part of the venture later became the park around which Park Crescent now stands. Ireland's was incomplete in 1824 and in spite of the drawings which show it complete, this may be untrue. In 1833 the gardens had a different tenant.
For more information see Sue Berry 'Pleasure Gardens in Georgian and Regency Seaside Resorts: Brighton, 1750-1840' Journal of Garden History, 1991, 220-229.