Erected c1818-28 on the site of the Belle Vue Field.

Please note that this text is an extract from a reference work written in 1990.  As a result, some of the content may not reflect recent research, changes and events.

a) BELLE VUE FIELD: One of the most impressive of Brighton’s grand facades, Regency Square was erected in 1818-28 on the site of the Belle Vue Field. Used for fairs, shows, military reviews, etc., this field was reputed to be haunted by ‘Betsy Bedlam’ in the eighteenth century , and by 1744 it was also the site of the West Mill, a post-mill which may have been rebuilt in 1762. On 28 March 1797, following complaints by nearby residents, it was transported on a sledge up the Dyke Road to a site near the top of Millers Road (see “Dyke Road“).
On 13 August 1793, at a time of great unrest across the Channel, the first Brighton Military Camp was established at Belle Vue Field, and about 10,000 soldiers were based there by the time it dispersed on 28 October 1793. The second camp was set up in Hove in 1794 with about 15,000 men, and they became an annual event for about ten years. The great number of men and officers in and around the town proved a natural attraction for young ladies looking for husbands or ready to sell their charms, while the regular reviews and manoeuvres provided colourful entertainment for visitors. When two men were shot and eleven others flogged for mutiny at Goldstone Bottom on 12 June 1795 however, there was an outcry amongst the townsfolk. The Brighton Camps were described by Jane Austen in Pride and Prejudice.

Any numerical cross-references in the text above refer to resources in the Sources and Bibliography section of the Encyclopaedia of Brighton by Tim Carder.

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