Pleasure Gardens in the City of Brighton and Hove
Pleasure gardens an essential part of the life of Georgian resorts but also common in other prosperous towns such as Lewes in East Sussex. Brighton's first pleasure garden was carved out of common land close to the sea and called the Steine. This appears on many mid to later eighteenth century images of the resort.
The first private garden was The Promenade garden which lasted 1793 until 1802 when the land was sold to the Prince of Wales who was keen to extend the grounds to the Pavilion and also close off East Street which ran right past the main entrance to the Pavilion. To do this he had to offer an alternative road and so part of the Promenade Garden was taken into the grounds and the rest became part of New Road.
In 1822 the next privately run garden opened. Ireland's Gardens stood on land owned by Thomas Read Kemp (see separate section about him) and he helped to fund the landscaping to the tune of £2,000. The gardens were closed in 1833.
To find out more about this and the other gardens see Sue Berry 'Pleasure Gardens in Georgian and Regency Seaside Resorts: Brighton, 1750-1840' in The Journal of Garden History, 1992, 220-229.
(C) Sue Berry