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Steel engraving by T A Prior after Thomas Allom. Published by J & W Robins, Tooley Street, London, c1845. The artist, Thomas Allom (1804-1872), is not named on the print, nor in Images of Brighton. He is known to be the artist by virtue of the original signed watercolour being in a private collection. The steel plate still exists and is still printing today. In Images of Brighton John & Jill Ford note that this print is an example of the quality that was achieved with steel-engraved plates.
Thomas Allom was an architect and topographical watercolourist, and a founding member of what became the Royal Institute of British Architects. He worked with Sir Charles Barry on a number of buildings, including the Houses of Parliament. Allom worked with Barry on the development of Queen’s Park and was the artist of the large privately owned watercolour of Queen’s Park illustrated in the Brighton Revealed: Through Artists’ Eyes c1760-c1960 catalogue, no: 61.
This view of Brighton seafront is taken from halfway along the Chain Pier. The large square building, with the verandas and canopies on the first floor, is the Albion Hotel. Just to its right, behind two trees, is Marlborough House, on the Steine. Going left from the Albion, the white building with the curved front is Brill’s Turkish and Indian Medicated Vapour and Shampooing Baths. The roadway in front of these is Grand Junction Road, and continuing left, westwards, the curve in the road shows the East Cliff, with the boats of the East Cliff fishermen on the beach. Going further westwards, there is what looks like a promontory which is the West Cliff, and the flagpole is where the West Battery was situated. This is where the Grand Hotel now stands.