A Perspective View of Brighthelmstone and of the Sea Coast as far as the Isle of Wight


A later lithograph of this image (1871) is BPC00493

This first edition copperplate engraving is by P Canot after James Lambert. Published by Lambert in Lewes and Robert Sayer in London, 1765. Picture is courtesy of the Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove.

Of the above original copperplate edition, Images of Brighton notes that it was the earliest engraved view of the town.

The two windmills to the left are on the East Cliff, and below those and nearer to us, Lambert seems to have portrayed himself painting the view. To the right of the mills is Russell House, and just to its right is Woodgate’s Library, with the line of small arches to its facade. To the right of the library, and fronted by a low fence, is Brighton Manor House, owned by the joint Lord of the Manor, Richard Scrase, from 1771. A little further inland we can see Marlborough House, overlooking the Steine. On the far right of the scene, the wide trackway leading up to St Nicholas Church is Spring Walk, so called as it led from the Steine up to the Chalybeate, now St Ann’s Well Gardens. Church Street was later established along this route of Spring Walk. As can be seen from the following extract, the large original oil painting of this view was offered as a lottery prize to collectors who bought a copy of the print.

Announcing the original copperplate publication, an advertisement in the Lewes Journal of 26 August 1765 read:

‘Proposals for a print of a View of Brighthelmstone and the Sea Coast as far as the Isle of Wight, from a Drawing taken on the spot by James Lambert, Painter, Lewes’.


The drawing shall be made very correct, and a print neatly engraved from it, two feet in length at least’

‘The price to subscribers will be five shillings …’

‘That a painting of the View shall be made on canvas, about five feet by three feet’

‘Those who subscribe a Guinea shall have (together with a print) a chance for the painting …’

There are details from this image:

St Nicholas Church from the Steine

Detailed view of the Steine 1

Detailed view of the Steine 2

See all panoramic views