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Blue plaque for architect of Brighton's 'cathedral'
An architect who “cut his teeth” in Sussex with much-loved buildings including St Peter's Church and the Pepperpot is to be specially commemorated with a blue plaque.
Sir Charles Barry was one of the most celebrated designers in Victorian England when he was commissioned to rebuild the Palace of Westminster in the mid-19th century.
But before achieving notoriety the architect drew up designs for a number of buildings in Sussex.
Among them was the now Grade I listed St Andrew's Church in Waterloo Street, Hove, which served the residents of newly-built Brunswick Town.
Nearly two centuries on a permanent reminder of Sir Barry is to be created with the installation of a blue plaque on the building's wall.
Averil Older, chairman of the city's Commemorative Plaque Panel, said: “Barry had a real influence on Brighton and Hove.
“He cut his teeth in Brighton and Hove before going onto other things.
“Although it's plain on the outside, inside there are some real treasures, including some brass plaques to the soldiers of World War One.”
Construction on the church started in April 1827 and was completed a year later.
Historians claim Charles Busby, the man behind Brunswick Town, was apparently “furious” the commission for the religious building was given to young Sir Barry.
They added once opened, it became popular with the social elite as a pew rent was charged to people attending worship.
As well as St Andrews, Barry designed parts of the Royal Sussex County Hospital and St Peter's Church in York Place, Brighton.
St Andrew's was closed in 1990 because of a declining number of people in the congregation.
Squatters destroyed some of the interior shortly after and £100,000 was spent refurbishing it.
The Friends of St Andrew's Church works with the Churches Conservation Trust, the owners of the building, to open it to visitors every Sunday afternoon.
Ms Older said the £1,200 cost of the blue plaque has come from private donors and, once planning permission has been given, it will be unveiled later this year.
There are nearly 90 blue plaques in the city dedicated to people such as comedian Max Miller, author Charles Dickens, cricketer Sir Jack Hobbs and actor Sir Laurence Olivier.
Ms Older said four more plaques will be unveiled this year, including one to Henry Solomon, the chief constable of Brighton police who was killed by a prisoner in Brighton Town Hall in 1844.
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