The Great Kitchen

George IV loved food, and paid great care to how his meals were prepared. Normally, kings and princes paid little attention to kitchens, but George personally designed some of the Great Kitchen’s features.

Nash illustration of the great kitchen in Brighton's Royal Pavilion

© Royal Pavilion & Museums, Great Kitchen, 1826

It contained the latest in cooking technology, including a large steam table. The windows set in the ceiling allowed for light to come in, but heat to escape. The kitchen was very hot while cooking, and servants working here were often stripped to the waist.

Brighton Royal Pavilion Operating Theatre

© Royal Pavilion & Museums, Operating Theatre, 1915

When used as a hospital, the Great Kitchen became an operating theatre. It was chosen for this, as it had running water, and the windows in the ceiling gave the doctors and nurses plenty of light. Lino was laid down on the stone floor, and new walls were put up on the sides of the room.

If you look at photos of the operating theatre, it can be difficult to tell that they were taken in this room. The best clue is the four posts in this room. They are made to look like bamboo — a trick you can see in many places in the Pavilion.