(this is a very small original image – see note on image sizes)
Steel engraving, published by Rock and Co, London, 20 October 1860. Numbered 2065 in their reordering catalogue. The racecourse was created on the White Hawk Downs, north of Kemp Town and according to the Racing Calendar the Duke of Cumberland held the first meeting there in 1783. Unfortunately the first racegoers’ stand, built in 1788, was destroyed by fire in August 1796. A replacement was erected in 1803, which was demolished to make way for a third stand in 1850, which was in turn replaced in 1860 by this larger stand, with the viewing slope. In the 1855 Stranger’s Guide in Brighton is written ‘The race-stand commands a full view of the whole course, and at the time of the races (generally about the beginning of August) is filled with a brilliant assemblage of beauty and fashion …’
The support given by the Prince of Wales ‘made the meeting amongst the nobility quite a national feature’ (J.A. Erredge History of Brighthelmstone’, p 282). Racing proved so popular in early Victorian Brighton that meetings soon became four or five day events.
Illustrated in Old Brighton: A Collection of Prints, Paintings and Drawings by Eileen Hollingdale. George Nobbs Publishing, 1979, p 97.
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Both images of the race stand:
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