Sunday 16 September 2018

    The 3rd Earl of Egremont of Petworth and Brighton

The 3rd Earl of Egremont supported charities in Brighton and used his high profile to get backers when funds were needed.  He helped to ensure that the first Royal Sussex Hospital was built.

East Lodge c1851 by William Alfred Delamotte. Brighton Museum and Art Gallery

East Lodge was bought by George O'Brien Wyndham, the 3rd Earl of Egremont and owner of Petworth House in West Sussex from the Neville family. Thomas Neville, owner of a sugar works in Jamaica, built it between 1798 and 1800 on a two acre plot in a large field called East Laine in 1808. The house looked down Rock Gardens, then a very attractive road,  to the sea.

Delamotte also painted the view up Rock Gardens from the coast to East House 

The Earl extended the house eastwards and added buildings to the north. He spent lavishly when here and also kept his racehorses somewhere nearby because he raced them at Brighton. At Petworth there is painting by P F Bourgeios called Swimming Horses at Brighton which are probably his.  It was a common practice then The Earl of Richmond had a horse bathing pond near Itchenor, close to his country house at Goodwood.  He was also a very keen breeder of racehorses and raced at Brighton. The family kept the house until the early 1870s.

Marchant's map of Brighton 1808 edition in which East Lodge is shown, on the edge of the resort.

By 1826, East Lodge is surrounded by buildings. Section of map by Piggott-Smith 


Eastern Brighton in 1829 with the Chain Pier shown 

 The Earl supported local charities by 1813 and he campaigned to get the Royal Sussex Hospital open - a project that had been had to raise the funds for.   Which is why there is a bust of him there. The Earl also had shares in the Chain Pier which was one of several investments of his in Sussex which J M W Turner painted - and if you look in the dining room at Petworth, there they are, at eye height when dining. 

This view from the east of the Chain Pier by Turner shows Brighton but it also shows the side the Earl would have seen as he came down Rock Gardens.  

The Earl also gave the land for St Mary's Chapel, designed by Amon Henry (usually Henry) Wilds and built by a speculator called Barnard Gregory and sold on.  This private, classical 'preaching box' chapel was for Anglican worship, the income to support it was generated by charging for pews. The Earl expected free pews in return for his generosity.  The three doors gave access to the east and west galleries and the nave. East Lodge is visible at the back of this little print.

St Mary's Chapel, artist unknown. Now under the very large Victorian church St. Mary's by Emerson, Rock Gardens. 

  The Earl owned a house in London, but most of his charitable work seems to have been in Sussex.

This is a view of  the main facade of Petworth House with the tower of Petworth Church  peeping up behind it. The Earl met the architect Charles Barry through his own involvement with the building of St. Peter's Church in Brighton and the Sussex Hospital, both of which Barry designed.  Barry put a spire on this church for the Earl  which appears on some prints. 

Written 16 Sept 2018 and see S Berry 'East Lodge, The Brighton Home of the 3rd Earl of Egremont' Sussex Archaeological Collections 152 (2014)  232-236.