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List Entry Summary

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.


List entry Number: 1381654



The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.


District: The City of Brighton and Hove

District Type: Unitary Authority


National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: II

Date first listed: 20-Aug-1971

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 482017

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Building

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

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Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.



TQ3004SE KING'S ROAD 577-1/39/368 (North side) 20/08/71 The Grand Hotel


Hotel. 1862-4. Designed by John Whichcord. Stucco, roof of asbestos slate so far as visible. EXTERIOR: 7 and 9 storeys over basement, with dormers; the original building of 15-window range, to which more or less contemporary buildings on either side, of lower height and 3-window range, have been annexed. The top 3 storeys of the western wing were added in l985; and much of the central section with its balconies, were remade in fibreglass at that time. The ground floor was originally fronted by a terrace, which remains, but has been re-roofed and enclosed c1985. In the western wing there is a stuccoed porch with flat-arched entrance, and 3 flat-arched windows to eastern wing with lion-head brackets and pendants between them. All windows flat-arched. The first to 6th floors are arranged in much the same way in 7 parts. The central part is of 3-window range and has balconies carried on elaborate brackets with round and segmental arches between them; on either side of the central part is a plain bay of 3-window range; beyond that a shallow canted bay of 3-window range; these 5 parts all have balconies but apart from the central part the balconies are supported on brackets with console details and have panels of elaborate scrolled wrought-iron work except to the 6th floor where they have simple replacement balusters; over the central and 2 flanking parts there is an ornate cornice with console brackets and squared paterae, and over the central part itself the 7th floor is treated as a decorative gable with a Venetian window with ornate consoles flanking the lower and upper parts of the window, crowned by an oval medallion intertwined with dolphins; on either side are 3 dormers with pilasters and segmental pediments. The outer, canted bays terminate at the fifth floor; above them, the 6th floor is flat; the 7th and 8th are treated as towers, the 8th floor having flat-arched windows under a round-arched arcade with columns of pink polished granite and elaborate capitals between the windows; modillion cornice. The outer wings are treated differently; that to the west has 2 canted bays and 8 storeys, its parapet terminating with the 8th storey of the main block; that to the right has 7 storeys, no bays and a medley of pediments and cornices to individual windows. All windows have late C20 glazing. INTERIOR: the (now enclosed) entrance is flanked by stairs to the original terraces with cast-iron newel post, arabesque balustrades and wreathed brass rail. Round-arched entrance with ornament on an enlarged scale: bay-leaf ornament to the architrave, cartouche in place of keystone; panelled pilasters to either side with foliage ornament in the panels; festoons and drops to spandrels and brackets; egg-and-dart cornice; foliage ornament to soffit of balcony. The principal rooms of the ground floor are arranged axially; the staircase hall to the north, restaurants to the east and the present lounge, to the west; there is a vestibule to the south which is flanked by Corinthian scagliola columns where the passages from the 3 other rooms cross. The ceilings are coved, panelled, and decorated with elaborate plasterwork in the vestibule, restaurants and lounge, the vestibule having Ionic antae and pilasters, and the first restaurant Corinthian scagliola columns and pilasters; in the second restaurant, to the west, the decorative ceiling, more French in taste than the rest, is the only feature of interest. The staircase hall has an openwell staircase, with stairs to the east and west sides and galleries to the north and south; it has a domed toplight above the 7th floor, this last built in 1985; the stairs and galleries are carried on slim cast-iron columns with fluting and palm-leaf capitals; these support metal beams with decorative openwork which carry the galleries and the slope of the stairs; the stairs themselves have curtail step, elaborate cast-iron newel, arabesque balusters and wreathed and moulded mahogany rail with carved foliage decoration at the wreath. The present lift entrances are the former entrances to the lift lobby. Flat-arched, 3-bay arcade to the north with bold console brackets of goats' heads and foxes; there is a similar arcade on the north galleries above formed from 2 Corinthian scagliola columns and elaborate console brackets with owls; walls to stairs and galleries panelled in plaster, with round-arched aedicules, windows, and lift-entrances all with elaborate architraves and some with cornices. The combination of metalwork construction and pronounced, partially conventionalised, ornament in the staircase shows the influence of Owen Jones and 'design reform' of the 1850s. The Albert Room at the north-east corner of the ground floor, now enlarged, has a coved and panelled ceiling with decorative plasterwork. HISTORICAL NOTE: when it was opened in 1864 the Grand Hotel was the tallest building in Brighton and by far the largest hotel, with 150 rooms. With John Whichcord's Clarence Hotel, Dover of 1863, and the Grand Hotel, Scarborough, of 1862-7, it introduced the scale and luxury of London's mid-Victorian railways hotels to seaside resorts. It is famous for the attempt by the Irish Republican Army, on 12 October 1984, to blow up the Prime Minister and members of the Cabinet with a 25 pound bomb placed in room 629. The principal ground-floor rooms in front of the staircase were badly damaged by falling masonry on this occasion, and there was considerable reconstruction in 1985; however, some of the C19 columns, wall- and ceiling-details etc remain and the staircase area is not greatly changed. (Carder T: The Encyclopaedia of Brighton: Lewes: 1990-; ).

Listing NGR: TQ3059604082

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Carder, T, Encyclopaedia of Brighton, (1990)

National Grid Reference: TQ 30596 04082


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End of official listing