Object Details

The Pylons

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General Information
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Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright for Photograph:

Creative Commons

Location

Street:London Road
Town:Brighton
Parish:Brighton
Council:Brighton & Hove City Council
County:East Sussex
Postcode:BN1
Location on Google Map
Object setting:Road or Wayside
Access is:Public
Location note:Entrance to Brighton Borough on the A23
In the AZ book:East Sussex
Page:111
Grid reference:L4
The A-Z books used are A-Z East Sussex and A-Z West Sussex (Editions 1A 2005). Geographers' A-Z Map Company Ltd. Sevenoaks.

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Makers

Name : John Leopold Denman, F.R.I.B.A
     Role:Architect
Company/Group :Field and Cox Ltd.
     Role:Builder

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General Information

Commissioned by: Sir Herbert Carden, Brighton Town Councillor
Commissioned also by: Public subscription
Construction period:Foundation stone laid 30 May 1928
Installation date:1928
Unveiling date:1928
Work is:Extant
Owner custodian:Brighton & Hove City Council
Object listing:Grade II: of special interest warranting every effort to preserve them
Building listing:II
Description:The pylons are wedge-shaped in plan, with the narrow end pointing inwards, towards the road; the 2 long sides and the outer side are very slightly concave in plan but with flat panels superimposed upon them, and concave-chamfered buttresses at the corners; the narrow end is treated as a tapering engaged column; the long sides carry inscriptions and emblems of Brighton and the County of Sussex, carved in relief; the top of the pylons are set back all round, and fluted. There are low curved stone seats next to the pylons, segmental in plan, and embracing but not touching the ends of the pylons; moulded seat with stepped backs about 1m high between squat columns of stepped profile that once held bronze lamps.
Inscription:Eastern pylon, south face, surmounted by the arms of the Duke and Duchess of York:

THIS FOUNDATION STONE WAS LAID BY
HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE DUKE OF YORK
KG.RCKT.GCMG.GCVO. ON THE 30TH. MAY
1928

Eastern pylon, north face, surmounted by a sculptural relief of a galleon:

THESE PYLONS - ERECTED BY PUBLIC SUBSCRIPTION COMMEMORATE
THE EXTENSION OF THE COUNTY BOROUGH OF BRIGHTON ON
1ST. APRIL 1928.
Alderman John L. Denman, F.R.I.B.A
Charles Kingston J.P. Architect
Mayer. Field and Cox. Builder

Western pylon, south face, surmounted by the arms of the Duke and Duchess of York:

THIS FOUNDATION STONE WAS LAID BY
HER ROYAL HIGHNESS THE DUCHESS OF YORK
G.B.E. ON THE 30TH. MAY
1928

Western pylon, north face, surmounted by a sculptural relief of a female figure holding an ankh and a torch:

HAIL GUEST• WE ASK NOT WHAT THOU ART.
IF FRIEND. WE GREET THEE. HAND & HEART:
IF STRANGER. SUCH NO LONGER BE:
IF FOE. OUR LOVE SHALL CONQUER THEE.

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Classification

Categories:Roadside / Wayside, Functional, Composite, Free Standing, Commemorative, Architectural
Object type1:Shaft
     Object subtype1:Pylon
Object type2:Building
     Object subtype1:Pylon
Subject type1:Non-figurative

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Object Parts

Part 1:Seats
     Material:Clipsham Limestone
     Height (cm):100
Part 2:Pylons
     Material:Clipsham Limestone

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Object Condition

Overall condition:Good
Risk assessment:No known risk
Date of on-site inspection:29/05/2008

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History

History:'GREATER BRIGHTON'S GREAT DAYS
Visit of Duke and Duchess of York.
Sunlit Decorations and Illuminated Nights.
Carnival of Pageantry and Festivity.
Greater Brighton has had its baptism of splendour. Officially born two months ago, leaping at a bound to the dignity of its widened area and responsibilities, it has this week been given a ceremonial investment with its new name. For this ceremony, prolonged over days and nights of glittering festival, it has had as sponsors their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of York. As witnesses of its new name it has gathered around it Lord Mayors, Mayors, Aldermen and Councillors from great cities and towns all over England, and municipal dignitaries from France as well. It has been bathed in sunlight by day - sunshine that on Tuesday and Wednesday attained an almost tropical warmth. It has blazed with illuminations by night. The Sea Front, the Steine, the Valley Gardens, have been turned by thousands of coloured lights into a fairyland. The tramcars, blazing with coloured light, have carried their vivid radiance into the uttermost parts of the town. Bonfires have flamed from the hills. Rockets have scattered their golden and coloured rain into the still night sky, and have been reflected in the calm waters. Moreover, at night, hundreds upon hundreds of motor-cars, from the Baby Austin to the giant motor-coaches, crowding the Sea Front in continuous lines four and five deep, have, by their headlamps and the reflections from their polished surfaces, added to the illumination and glitter. And high above, during these crowded, fascinating nights, the moon has ridden in silver splendour. Indeed, it might almost be claimed that the sun and moon have combined with the lights of earth to do honour to Greater Brighton… A great Pageant of Brighton was performed in Preston Park - the largest and best dressed effort of the kind that Brighton has known. Military tournament, horse show, Fire Brigaed display, sports of all kinds, dancing, military bands - all have been in the mammoth programme of diversions… It was also for the sake of the children that the Duke and Duchess visited the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Dyke Road, to open the new wing. So there was full recognition of the fact that Greater Brighton is essentially the Brighton for the coming generations… The greatest moments of the great day occurred at the new boundary on the London road. It was not a long ceremony, but it was eloquent with meaning. It showed how Brighton has stretched out from its urban confinement, and has taken under its protecting care the unspoiled beauty of the Downs. It was a day on which the wilderness and the waste places rejoiced. On all the long road that connects London with Brighton there is no more lonely, no wilder spot than that where the great Pylons will rise to mark a gateway into Brighton. In its ordinary state it is fold upon fold of open downland, whose undulating waves of green are broken by stretches of furze and hawthorn. On Wednesday their green simplicity was strangely decorated. Against the background of sunlit downland were erected scaffoldings, surrounding the great squared stones that form the bases of the Pylons. There was a gaily ornamented canopy, bearing prominently the arms of the Duke and Duchess. Drawn up in the roadway, their white hats and accoutrements vivid in the sunlight, was a guard of honour, mainly of the Royal Naval Volunteers. A group of Aldermen of the Borough added a gorgeous splash of scarlet, heightened by the fact that there was also a Councillor (Councillor Aldrich, Chairman of the Parks Committee) in blue. Hundreds of people clustered on the hillsides, whitened now with the blossoms of the hawthorn… Into this fascinating scene of natural loveliness and decorative art came the Duke and Duchess of York. They arrived in the small procession of motor-cars, which, led by the Chief Constable, and the Mayor and Mayoress, had made the tour of the decorated roads. The Duke bore himself with his upright, alert carriage. The Duchess was what we have always known her to be - all charm and glorious smiling. She was brightness personified and dainty grace. Her dress was of light summery material of a bright beige-coloured crepe de chine, with long coat of georgette, with fox-fur collar. Her closely-fitted hat bore a diamond brooch and a plume of osprey.' During his dedication speech, the Duke referred to Brighton as the ''Queen of Watering Places''.
(Brighton & Hove Herald 26 May 1928)

The Brighton and Hove Herald put out a request to the general public for suggestions as to a suitable inscription to be placed on The Pylons. Alderman Carden who paid ⅔ of the cost of the structures and who supervised the work made the choice with the assistance of Alderman C. Thomas-Stanford.
(Brighton & Hove Herald. 17 November 1928.)

Sir Herbert Carden, Brighton Town Councillor in 1895, developed 'greater Brighton'. In May 1928, the foundation stone for the two large pylons was laid by the Duke and Duchess of York (George VI and Queen Elizabeth). They mark the entrance to the enlarged Borough (with the A23 now a dual carriageway, one stands in the central reservation.

The stone gate pillars are more properly known as the 'pylons'. They were erected to mark the northern limit of 'Greater Brighton' which was created on 1st April 1928. They ''were designed by John Denman and have foundation stones laid by the Duke and Duchess of York on 30th May 1928 (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth). Buried inside are coins, copies of the Brighton & Hove Herald and the Sussex Daily News and also a bound book recording the laying of the foundation stones given by Mr. J.S. North. The cost was born by a public subscription of £993 and a contribution from Herbert Carden of £2,555. The western pylon bears the message: 'Hail guest, we ask not what thou art. If friend we greet thee hand and heart. If stranger no longer be. If foe our love shall conquer thee.'''
(http://www.mybrightonandhove.org.uk/page_id__5252_path__0p114p201p803p.aspx and the Brighton Herald)

'Underneath the foundation stones of one pylon will be laid the commemorative album given by Mr. J.S. North. The cover is of beautiful Niger skin and bears in gold the borough coat of arms. The book is being illuminated by Mr. W.H. Evans, A.R.C.A. (Lond.), Principal of the School of Art, and contains the borough coat of arms and an inscription describing the circumstances of the ceremony, followed by the names of the subscribers. The inscription refers to Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of York as ''son and daighter-in-law of King of England George V, a descendent of his Majesty, King George IV, of England, who reigned in the 19th. Century, and who built the Royal Pavilion at Brighton.'' The album will be enclosed with current coins of the realm and copies of newspapers containing reports of the celebrations, in a teak box which has been made by Messrs. T.B. Colman and Sons, Ltd., of Hove. As mementoes of the occasion, the Royal visitors will each be presented with beautifully chased golden trowels with ivory handles. The ceremony at the Pylons will commence at noon. The procession will leave the Pylons at 12.30 pm. For the Dome, visiting the Horse Show in Preston Park on the way.'
(Brighton & Hove Herald 26 May 1928)

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References

Source 1 :
     Title:'Brave New City Brighton and Hove past Present Future'
     Type:Book
     Author:Seldon, Anthony.
     Publisher:Pomegranite Press. Lewes.

Source 2 :
     Title:Brighton Herald
     Type:Newspaper
     Page:17


Further information:
#http://www.mybrightonandhove.org.uk/page_id__5252_path__0p114p201p803p.aspx#

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Photographs





Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons

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