George IV’s royal palace went through many changes before it became the Royal Pavilion that visitors see today. This book shows how it could have looked very different.

Repton’s 1806 designs for the Royal Pavilion

Humphry Repton’s ‘Red Book’ of 1806 shows an important stage in the evolution of the Royal Pavilion — even though none of his designs were ever implemented.

Curator Alexandra Loske with an 1808 printed copy of Humphry Repton’s designs for the Royal Pavilion
Curator Alexandra Loske with an 1808 printed copy of Humphry Repton’s designs for the Royal Pavilion

In the early 1800s, George, then Prince of Wales, decided to remodel his Marine Pavilion. In 1805 Repton was commissioned to produce a series of illustrations showing the palace redeveloped in an ‘oriental’ style.

In spite of his initial interest, George eventually commissioned John Nash to remodel the Pavilion into the form that we can see today. But Repton’s vision survived in the form of a beautifully illustrated book.

Humphry Repton: Designs for the Pavillon at Brighton (published 1808)
Humphry Repton: Designs for the Pavillon at Brighton (published 1808)

Below you can see a copy of an entire edition printed in 1808. (The original manuscript by Humphry Repton with his watercolours is in the Royal Collection.) The book has been reproduced so you can see how the illustrations were presented in the original publication, often as overlays that had to be lifted from the page.

Browse through the book while listening to curator Dr Alexandra Loske discuss the role it plays in the Royal Pavilion story.

You can also download a PDF copy of the book.

Repton’s ‘Red Book’

3D model of Repton’s Pavilion

Volunteer Colin Jones has produced an interactive 3D model based on Repton’s proposed designs: http://brightonmuseums.org.uk/3DRepton

3D model of Repton's designs for the Royal Pavilion

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