Before they enter Hove Museum, visitors are met by the Jaipur Gate. This impressive structure stands in the garden of Hove Museum, near the path that leads to the museum entrance.
The Jaipur Gate was originally commissioned for the Colonial and Indian Exhibition held at South Kensington in 1886. The exhibition was opened by Queen Victoria on 4 May 1886 and attracted 5.5m visitors.
The gate marked the entry to the Rajputana (now Rajasthan) section of the exhibition. The Maharaja of Jaipur paid for its construction. Although carved and assembled by Indian craftsmen, the gate is a hybrid construction designed by two Englishmen: Colonel Samuel Swinton Jacob and Surgeon-Major Thomas Holbein Hendley.
The inscription on the front, in English, Sanskrit and Latin, is the motto of the Maharajas of Jaipur: ‘where virtue is, there is victory’. The gate was donated to Hove Museum in 1926 and erected in the garden. It formed the backdrop to the visit of a later Maharaja of Jaipur in 1986 when he visited Hove to mark India’s independence celebrations.
In 2004 the gate was dismantled for conservation, structural reinforcement and weatherproofing by specialist contractors The Green Oak Company. Resin repairs and reclaimed teak, sourced in India, have been inserted to replace decayed timber and a new copper dome and lead roof provides protection against rain.