Chapel Royal

Designed in classical style by Thomas Saunders, the Chapel Royal was built in Prince’s Place in 1793-5 for Revd Thomas Hudson, Vicar of Brighton, as an alternative to the very cramped St Nicholas’s Church. Hudson hoped to attract the Prince of Wales to the new chapel, and it was His Royal Highness who laid the corner stone on 25 November 1793. The Prince and Princess of Wales were also present at the first service on 3 August 1795, but took exception to the sermon by Hudson and never worshipped there again. Read More »

The newly exposed south front was also rebuilt by Arthur Blomfield in 1879 and the clock tower and new entrances were added in 1882. The eastern facade still bears the original date of 1795 though, together with the royal arms.

There are extensive vaults, probably intended as a burial chamber, but used in the past as a store for adjacent wine merchants and booksellers.

Further information The 9 year old child prodigy

George Bridgetower  (11 October 1778–29 February 1860

George Bridgetower connection to Beethoven 

East Sussex Office Lewes

History of the Chapel Royal Brighton




[/notphone][phone] Gallery Map Video Transcript

This nine-year old child prodigy used to come in and on a Sunday he would be playing the violin. The King and his entourage would have been seated up there. He was a mixed race chap.  His father was from Barbados.  He was captured as a prince and was sold as a slave in Barbados.  While in Barbados he bought his freedom and he travelled to Poland.  While he was there he married a woman and had two children. One of the children, George Bridgetower,  was so famous that Beethoven wrote about him – that’s how famous he was. Beethoven gave him the gift of a tuning fork, and thought he was a master of his instruments and he was brilliant.

King George III first spotted George Bridgetower, and he played in Bath and over 500 people attended this young child prodigy in Bath.  So famous was he that everyone at that time wrote about this child prodigy. In his later life he ended up at Cambridge as a music teacher.  He had quite a good life.  He married and he had two children, one of them became a minister.  George Bridgetower is buried somewhere in London (at Kensal Green cemetery).

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