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Brills Baths Brighton

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Artist: A . Stuart

A Brill’s Swimming Instructor & His Wife painted in watercolour. Signed and dated A. Stuart 1854 and within period bird's-eye maple frames.

As baths were to Spa Towns the sea was to Brighton, the considered health benefits of sea bathing being instrumental in the popularity and growth of the town. Charles Brill was not a Brightonian but came to the town during the 1840s on inheriting premises from his uncle, a Mr Lamprell. Successful, by early in the 1860s Brill was living in Clarendon Mansions on the front with his wife, five children and eight members of staff. Amongst these was Ellen Ragless, a young swimming mistress from along the coast at Bognor. She was employed at Brill’s Swimming Bath for Ladies in East Street, the establishment being patronized by Royalty. During the second half of the decade Brill built new and grand baths, designed by George Gilbert Scott, and in so doing demolished the inn known as the Rising Sun; the age old haunt of the Sussex bogey man; 'Old Strike-a-Light’. In turn, Brill's was demolished to make way for the Savoy Cinema, having closed in around 1928.

One of Brighton’s most celebrated swimming instructor’s was a one-legged draper-cum-mariner named Captain Camp. He was one of seven men who established the Brighton Swimming Club in 1860 and was the club’s first president. He is recorded as being a swimming instructor at Brill’s when Stuart painted these watercolours.

w.14.25 in x h.17.5 in


w.14.25 in x h.17.5 in

Item Code: 966

£ 980

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