WE have collated 400 fascinating facts about our wonderful city for two special supplements, which we are now giving our online readers a taster of.

Brilliant Brighton, which has been put together by historian Kevin Newman, appeared in the paper over two weeks earlier this month.

Have you ever wondered which Brighton pubs are haunted, which serial killer stalked the streets and where Laurence Olivier lived?

All will be revealed in Brilliant Brighton.

There is still a chance to buy the printed version of this supplement. Call us on 01273 544544 during office hours to order yours.

The Argus:

If you missed facts 1-10, read them here: Brilliant Brighton 1-10

11. Which laine do you call home?

Even Brightonians get the Lanes and North Laine mixed up.

Laines are the fields Brighton is built on and there are five with East Laine, West Laine, Hilly Laine and Little Laine.

The word is an Anglo-Saxon one meaning “loan”. There is no South Laine – it is the Lanes, which is the Old Town.

There is only one and it is mostly laid out in the medieval pattern of the town that existed until 1514 when the French burned it.

12. Church on the hill is a medieval mystery

Not many people realise Church Street is so called as it leads up to Brighton’s oldest church and arguably Brighton’s oldest building, St Nicholas Church. 

There are arguments over whether the Knab or Poole Valley are older but it is likely any buildings in these two locations were destroyed by the French.

St Nick’s also had a vital function as a navigational beacon for sailors. It may have helped back then, but it confuses us today – why was the town’s church away from the town, up on a hill, especially when St Nick is linked to the sea?

Its lofty location might suggest it had a role in the plague of the 1340s in keeping plague graves away from the town or perhaps there was an older community around St Nick’s?

13. Storm that washed away South Street and a fishermen’s village

Brighton’s ghostly street, the original South Street existed, unsurprisingly, to the south of the town.

When it was washed away in the 1700s the town stopped at the cliff edge and travellers had to get inland through the Lanes until the Kings Road was built on George IV’s orders.

This means today we still have a major East, West and North Street but no major South Street.

The first three were once the boundaries of the old town and beyond this were mostly fields.

Brighton does have a small South Street today but it was renamed. In the same storm, the “Lower Town” where the fishermen lived was also washed away, which sped up the erosion of Brighton’s old town below the cliffs.

The only picture we have of this town is the first picture of Brighton, said to be of 1545 but actually about 1514.

Many men lost their lives on that night and two windmills were blown over.

Due to storms in the 1700s, Brighton also had a lost sea wall, similar to the one at Hastings. It was built as a deterrent to French invasions after the 1500s, but was destroyed by the storm of 1703.

14. Bravo for our beautiful bandstand

Brighton’s seafront bandstand, located west of the West Pier, is the oldest in the country (built in 1884).

It is also a rare survivor of its type as there were once 36 in Sussex and are now nine.

This might be because it has been described as “all but bomb-proof”.

It has also been voted the best in the country by bandstand enthusiast and expert Paul Rabbitts, who has written a book about bandstands.

He said in an interview with the Argus that he liked “the detailing of it, the design of it, the location is just incredible, the fact that there is a little coffee shop behind it, the fact you can get married in it”.

He is right; what makes it unusual is that it is one of the council’s licensed marriage venues.

Rabbitts also liked the fact that our bandstand is unusual as it is “right on the seafront”, whereas most others are on promenades or in parks.

So, bravo for our bandstand.

15. Perfect partnership

Despite fears about a Brighton and Hove merger, it helped the bid for city status and reflected the fact there was never much dividing them.

Brighton had fame and history, Hove respectability and architecture.

Like Brighton, Hove had previous names such as Hoo, Hou, Hova and Hoove.

Hove brings a charming seafront, complimentary alternative shopping, eating and drinking experiences and a wonderful western side to our joint city.

16. Misleading names

The name Kingswest Boulevard, housing the Odeon cinema and Pryzm nightclub, must be Brighton’s most misleading.

It is not a boulevard but a building and seemingly takes the names of the two streets it is on the corner of.

When it was first built, this bonkers building was called the Top Rank Suite, presumably so people could go “up town top ranking”

17. Help for a king on the run

Royalists have Brighton to thank as the town without which we may not have a Royal Family.

In 1651, with Charles I executed and Cromwell in charge, the man who would go on to be Charles II was on the run.

He had ended up in an inn in West Street in Brighton, which in the 1650s was the most westerly street.

You can trace Charles’s route on any OS map, if you look for the “Monarch’s Way”.

The landlord of the inn recognised the future king but kept quiet, but the captain of the Surprise, Nicholas Tattersell, decided to charge the fugitive.

18. Brush with the bulldozer

Brighton, unlike Worthing, has kept most of its historic buildings.

When you read books about Worthing’s valuable buildings that existed in the 1960s, most of these were sadly demolished.

Brighton has lost some, but many were saved by our fighting spirit.

North Laine was due to lose hundreds when 1960s developers believed only seven of the Victorian buildings we cherish there today were worth saving.

19. Eat your hearts out critics, This is a top uk attraction

There have always been the odd critics of Brighton from its earliest days.

Some writers after the Great Storm of 1703 that destroyed the lower fishing village suggested Brighthelmstone wasn’t worth saving and should be abandoned to the sea.

Daniel Defoe wrote in 1708 that the £8,000 needed to provide Brighthelmstone’s sea defences was “more than the town was worth”.

The author of Robinson Crusoe wasn’t to know just how popular the town would become with writers like himself.

Another man of words, Samuel Johnson, author of the first established dictionary famously complained that Brighthelmstone was so bare a man would struggle to find a tree to hang himself in.

He was so negative about the town that many Brightonians at the time must have want him to try.

The Pavilion’s construction led to a whole range of critics to complain about the building and to try to come up with an ever-more creative range of insults.

William Cobbett, an MP and writer said it was “like the Kremlin and a series of turnips and flower bulbs [had been] placed on top of a square box”.

William Hazlitt said it was merely a “collection of stone pumpkins and pepper boxes”.

Little were they to know it is now one of the country’s top visitor attractions.

20. London has nothing on this place

Those praising Brighton however have always been far louder and more numerous than detractors.

Edmund Gilbert called the town “the most attractive seaside resort in the world”.

Harold Poster, owner of the Metropole, Bedford, Norfolk and West Pier in the 1960s and 70s, said once: “Nothing is too good for Brighton.”

Clifford Musgrave, Brighton author and curator of the Pavilion called it: “A pleasure city… unique on the face of the Earth.”

Author William Makepeace Thackeray sang the town’s praises as: “One of the best of physicians is kind, cheerful, merry Dr Brighton”, hence the name of the pub next to the Queen’s Hotel, dating back to 1750.

Horace Smith called the town both “the queen of watering places” and the “old ocean’s bauble”.

If seeing Brighton as the capital’s coastal sister is positive, then nicknames such as London-by-the-sea, London’s sea-suburb and the bizarre LondonSuper-Mare are also affectionate.

Brighton was loved for its healthy air, after trains made London a sooty city, as it was called “London’s lungs”.

The nicest quote must be on a postcard thatsaid “Did you ever see anything in London to equal this?”.