Most Popular Online 2019

Whether it’s blog posts, videos or digitised collections, here is a run through of the most popular online content we have published this year.

Blog posts

Photo showing reconstructed head and neck of Neolithic woman. She has dark skin, black hair and plays with a necklaceOur blog received almost 120,000 page views in 2019. As with most years, the most popular posts were evergreen stories that surface in Google searches long after they were written.These are the five most popular new posts that we published this year:

  1. Why does ‘Whitehawk Woman’ have dark skin? Our new Archaeology Gallery in Brighton Museum reveals that a Neolithic resident of Brighton had dark skin. Some thought this controversial; others found it fascinating. In this post we explain the science behind this depiction.
  2. Preparing for Stephen Jones hats in the Royal Pavilion. Transforming the Pavilion through milinery proved popular with our visitors, as did this insight into the work behind the scenes.
  3. A thing that went crash in the night. Pesky poltergeist or a trick of the light? This intriguing clip of CCTV footage from Brighton Museum encouraged a few theories.
  4. Behind the scenes of Stephen Jones hats at the Royal Pavilion. Another view of this popular display.
  5. Brighthelmstone: Brighton in the Middle Ages. Our Museum Futures trainee is a keen medievalist and wondered why we don’t talk more about this era in Brighton’s history. The popularity of this post suggests there is more than a middling interest out there.

Online collections

Martha Gunn,Brighton bather. Oil painting, British School, c1790

Images of our digitised collections were viewed almost 3 million times this year on our Digital Media Bank. Over 28,000 different objects were displayed, but these are the five that received the most views.

  1. Portrait of Martha Gunn, Brighton bather, c1790
  2. Postcard of WW1 Kitchener Hospital, 1916
  3. Brighton Herald newspaper, 23 June 1917
  4. Hailie Selassie on the pier, April 1938
  5. H& H Motors on Lewes Road, c1960

Views of assets on our Digital Media Bank are often driven by online discussion in spaces that we can’t view, such as closed Facebook groups. As a result we often don’t know why people are viewing these images more than others, and it’s sometimes hard to guess. But we assume that they are a conversation piece somewhere online.


Still from CCTV footage showing foyer of Brighton Museum
Frame from footage showing flash of light by stock display

Much like our blog, the most popular videos on our YouTube channel are often old favourites, such as video tours of the Royal Pavilion. These are the five most popular videos we posted in 2019.

  1. Mysterious incident in Brighton Museum caught on CCTV
  2. Life as a Kachin refugee in Malaysia
  3. Stable isotope analysis
  4. Brighton & Hove in the Ice Age
  5. Historical authenticity in the Royal Pavilion Saloon

Data taken from 1 January to 22 December 2019.

Kevin Bacon, Digital Manager


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