Etymology[ edit ] Queens Road, one of the oldest streets in Brighton Brighton's earliest name was Bristelmestune, recorded in the Domesday Book.
Although more than 40 variations have been documented, Brighthelmstone or Brighthelmston was the standard rendering between the 14th and 18th centuries. Brighthelmstone was the town's official name until , though.
The town was originally split in half by the Wellesbourne, a winterbourne which was culverted and buried in the 18th century. Archaeologists have only partially explored it, but have found numerous burial mounds , tools and bones, suggesting it was a place of some importance. This Celtic Iron Age encampment dates from the 3rd or 2nd century BC and is circumscribed by substantial earthwork outer walls with a diameter of c. They were attracted by the easy access for boats, sheltered areas of raised land for building, and better conditions compared to the damp, cold and misty Weald to the north.
By the 14th century there was a parish church , a market and rudimentary law enforcement the first town constable was elected in Over the next few decades, though, events severely affected its local and national standing, such that by "it was a forlorn town decidedly down on its luck". More foreign attacks, storms especially the devastating Great Storm of , a declining fishing industry, and the emergence of nearby Shoreham as a significant port caused its economy to suffer.
The population declined to 2, in the early 18th century. The contemporary fad for drinking and bathing in seawater as a purported cure for illnesses was enthusiastically encouraged by Dr Richard Russell from nearby Lewes. He sent many patients to "take the cure" in the sea at Brighton, published a popular treatise [note 1] on the subject, and moved to the town soon afterwards the Royal Albion , one of Brighton's early hotels, occupies the site of his house.
From the s it was a boarding point for boats travelling to France; road transport to London was improved  when the main road via Crawley was turnpiked in ;  and spas and indoor baths were opened by other entrepreneurial physicians such as Sake Dean Mahomed and Anthony Relhan who also wrote the town's first guidebook.
Growth of the town was further encouraged by the patronage of the Prince Regent later King George IV after his first visit in In this period the modern form of the name Brighton came into common use. The population grew from around 7, in to more than , by Prior to either of these structures, the famous Chain Pier was built, to the designs of Captain Samuel Brown. It lasted from to , and is featured in paintings by both Turner and Constable.
The major expansion of also incorporated the villages of Patcham , Ovingdean and Rottingdean , and much council housing was built in parts of Woodingdean after the Second World War. In , Brighton and Hove were joined to form the unitary authority of Brighton and Hove , which was granted city status by Queen Elizabeth II as part of the millennium celebrations in Homelessness in Brighton[ edit ] In , Government figures analysed by the charity Shelter revealed that Brighton and Hove had the worst rate for homelessness outside London and is worse than some boroughs in the capital.
Based on the Freedom of Information data there are 4, people sleeping rough or in emergency or temporary accommodation in the city, suggesting that one in 69 people in Brighton and Hove was homeless. The highest concentration of deprivation is in the Whitehawk, Moulsecoomb, and Hollingbury areas of the city but is also found around the St. The underground Wellesbourne can rise to the surface during heavy rain, as in November when it flooded the London Road in Preston village.
Brighton lies between the South Downs and the English Channel to the north and south, respectively. The Sussex coast forms a wide, shallow bay between the headlands of Selsey Bill and Beachy Head ; Brighton developed near the centre of this bay around a seasonal river , the Wellesbourne or Whalesbone , which flowed from the South Downs above Patcham. One original house survives from the time of the pool's enclosure.
The Wellesbourne occasionally reappears during times of prolonged heavy rain; author Mark Antony Lower referred to an early 19th-century drawing of the Royal Pavilion showing "quite a pool of water across the Steyne".
Nevertheless, the descriptions "Port of Brighthelmston" or "Port of Brighton" were sometimes used between the 14th and 19th centuries, as for example in when its notional limits were defined for customs purposes.
The soil beneath it, a mixture of alluvium and clay with some flint and chalk rubble , has experienced erosion for many years. Main transport links developed along the floor of the Wellesbourne valley, from which the land climbs steeply—particularly on the east side.
The earliest settlement was by the beach at the bottom of the valley,  which was partly protected from erosion by an underwater shale-bar. Changes in sea level affected the foreshore several times: The first sea defences were erected in ,  and a century later a long sea-wall was built.
Climate of the United Kingdom Brighton has a temperate climate: It is characterised by mild, calm weather with high levels of sunshine, sea breezes and a "healthy, bracing air" attributed to the low level of tree cover.
Snow is rare, but particularly severe falls were recorded in and