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Brighton Aquarium was the brainchild of Eugenius Birch, the famous pier engineer and designer of Brighton’s West Pier, who conceived the idea following a visit to Boulogne Aquarium.

Erected on the approach roadway to the Chain Pier, the Aquarium necessitated the construction of a new sea-wall and promenade, the Madeira Road, which was commenced in 1869.

The whole project was completed in 1872 at a cost of £130,000, and the Aquarium was inaugurated by Prince Arthur at Easter although there were no exhibits at the time. It was formally opened to the public on 10 August 1872 by the mayor, Cordy Burrows.

Did you know?

Sea Life Brighton is the oldest operating aquarium in the world.