Sea-wall

Built in 1838 at a cost of £100,000

Reproduced with permission from the Encyclopaedia of Brighton

"The first sea-wall, to protect the base of the cliffs directly, was built by the proprietors of the New Steine and other East Cliff residents in about 1795, a simple flint structure along the foot of the cliff. The sea came right up to the bottom of the cliffs at this time, and the town commissioners built a similar wall for some distance along the same cliff in 1809.

Construction of the Chain Pier
The construction of the Chain Pier in 1822-3 involved a mortar sea-wall some yards in front of the cliff to carry the new promenade, but the greatest improvement came in 1830-3 when a huge cement wall was built along the face of the East Cliff from Old Steine to Royal Crescent, further protected by large amounts of rubble which were tipped over the cliff top until they rose to half the height of the cliff.

The wall is 23 feet thick
By 1838 the new wall had been completed to join the wall of the Kemp Town estate. Constructed by William Lambert at a total cost of £100,000, the massive structure is 23 feet thick at the base and up to 60 feet high, and has a large commemorative plaque above the Madeira Terrace to the west of the Madeira Lift. The rubble mounds were levelled for the construction of the Madeira Drive in 1872 when a smaller esplanade sea-wall was constructed to the south. In the 1930s a sea-wall over three miles in length, the Undercliff Walk, was constructed from Black Rock to Saltdean.

The expansion of the sea wall
The western cliffs in front of the Old Town were first protected by a wall in 1811 when a flint and limestone structure was built between Black Lion Street and Ship Street. This was extended to West Street when the King's Road was constructed in 1821-2, and to East Street in 1825-7; by 1829 the build-up of shingle by the groynes enabled the construction of the Grand Junction Road and the extension of the sea-wall to meet the Chain Pier promenade. It was extended further westwards in 1853 to the West Battery (in front of the Grand Hotel), and to the Brunswick Town sea-wall at the Hove boundary in 1894."


This page was added on 22/03/2006.

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