So, is this one of the secret underground passages?

You know the fenced off building site area in the Pavilion Gardens, right? Now this is not explained or signposted… but if you sneak a look and peek through the fencing, just to the left of the entrance to Brighton Museum, you’ll see they’ve dug a large, long trench which seems to uncover a huge pipe-shaped (roof-shaped?) thing, running directly towards the Royal Pavilion.

Here’s a photograph of the trench, which I took through the railings, in a gap in the green building site cloth.


So what on earth is that, just underneath the surface? I reckon it’s a very rare glimpse from above ground of one of the Royal Pavilion’s infamous secret underground tunnels, which has been exposed as they do repair work, either on the pipework around it, or on the roof of the tunnel itself. This looks way too big to be a sewage pipe or just housing for cables; in fact it looks a perfect size for human beings doing some sneaking from one building to another. Given George IV’s surreptitious history, anyway.

No, I haven’t actually asked anyone; I don’t want to spoilt the mystery with the truth, if it turns out to be a boring cellar or full of poo.

But if you make it down to the Pavilion Gardens while this building work is still ongoing, before they cover everything up again, take a peak through the fencing and judge for yourself: perhaps we’re the first people to ever see that bit of secret passageway roof, since it was built.

Chris T-T, Blogger in Residence

8 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    Yes it is runs from the dome basement to the royal pavilion and was used by the prince regent to avoid being seen when he was overweight.

  2. SilverTiger

    Intriguing, indeed, and a mystery to us who are not in the know but – come on! – someone knows what this is and can explain it. Time for that person to spill the beans, I think!

    The structure looks to be in pretty good nick so, if it is a (no longer) secret passage, any chance of a visit?

  3. lee mitchell

    we are using the old ship hotel for a weeding venue and have just been to see it. they asked the kids if they would like to see the tunnels. there is a whole underground network under there, one of which they said “this is the one which the pavilion deny that goes leads to it, but it does” there is one that leads to the beach, which is now covered in the ever growing mountain of stones on the beach. it really is amazing down there. we are getting married in the town hall and they have underground police cells in there which I’m going to try and get a look at too.

  4. Jennie Peters

    In the early 1900’s my Grandmother was born in 29 East Street (now English’s Fish Restaurant in The Lanes), when her parents (Anton and Gesuina Alig) ran it as a Swiss cafe – they came here from Switzerland. She told me that there was a door at the back of the kitchen that went into an underground tunnel, which was used as a secret access by the Prince to go through 29 East Street and meet his mistress. I have always wondered about the credibility of his, so am fascinated to see the tunnel in your photo and learn of the tunnel network.

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