The Prince Regent's Chapel

Photo:The Chapel Royal in North Street, on the edge of North Laine

The Chapel Royal in North Street, on the edge of North Laine

On the edge of North Laine in North Street

The Chapel Royal, although just outside North Laine in North Street, is an interesting building with an interesting history.

St Nicholas Church too far for the Prince Regent

The Prince Regent had been an infrequent churchgoer when the Royal Pavilion was first built and Brighton's only Anglican church, St Nicholas, was a long way from his new home as well as being up a steep hill.

A new church near the Pavilion to encourage him?

Furthermore, the ever increasing number of visitors and residents caused overcrowding in the church, so in 1789 the new Vicar of Brighton, Revd Thomas Hudson, decided to resolve these problems by building a new chapel (as a Chapel of Ease) near the Prince's home and hoped to encourage him to attend and thereby worship more often than he had in the past!

Opened in August 1795

The foundation stone of the Chapel Royal was laid by the Prince Regent in 1793 and the building was opened for worship during August 1795. Although it continued to be frequented by Regency society, in fact the Prince himself stopped attending, following (it is said) his displeasure at having to listen to a sermon on the immorality of the nation!

The Chapel Royal parish

In 1897 the Chapel Royal was designated a parish church and a small area around the Royal Pavilion was designated the Chapel Royal parish - the young Winston Churchill was also a member of the congregation from 1883-85.

Still in original usage

Today the Chapel Royal is not only a fully functional and much loved church but is also a very beautiful building with its unique history so closely linked to the British royal family. It is one of very few Georgian buildings in Brighton still in original usage.

 

[Previously published in the North Laine Runner, No 230, September/October 2014]

This page was added on 10/10/2014.

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