Brighton College has launched a new city landmark today with the unveiling of its grand gatehouse tower at its entrance – finally built after a 125-year delay. The tower, which has been named Cairns Tower after the school's headmaster, was supposed to be the crowning glory of architect Sir Thomas Graham Jackson's late 19th century additions to Brighton College (founded in 1845) but a shortage of funds meant his splendid creation was never finished. In 2012 the College engaged historic building specialists Richard Griffiths Architects to complete the original design of the tower externally. The tower has been paid for, in the most part, by one very generous, anonymous donor. Other donors followed suit and the result, which was unveiled in front of the whole school with much celebration, is set to be a breath-taking addition to the Brighton skyline.
A particularly stunning facet of the new tower is the elegant Smith of Derby clock on the north side and sundial on the south side, created by the renowned company which is behind dozens of civic and railway clocks around the country. This particular aspect was supported by OB donor Mark Green (Al. 1973-78). The tower is topped by a wonderful copper Pelican weather vane, supported by fellow OB donor Martin Buss (Du. 1954-58).
Head Master Richard Cairns said: "I believe Sir Thomas would feel proud to see how Brighton College has progressed into the 21st century. In the last few years, the school has achieved tremendous academic success and the campus is being transformed so that we can give our girls and boys first-class facilities in which to learn and play. There really couldn't be a better time to complete Sir Thomas' plans and create the tower he had always envisaged for the school. This tower pays tribute to one of the greatest architects of the Victorian era and marks the College's position as one of England's leading schools."
- Professor Lord Robert Skidelsky (C. 1953-58) & Head Master Richard Cairns Professor Lord Robert Skidelsky (C. 1953-58) & Head Master Richard Cairns