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The Hatters Inn

This pub is named after the founder of Bognor Regis.

2–10 Queensway, Bognor Regis, West Sussex, PO21 1QT

Named after Richard Hotham, who made his fortune as a hatter and hosier and established the seaside resort of Bognor Regis in the late 18th century.

Illustrations and text about the founder of Bognor Regis.

The text reads: Born in York in 1722, Richard Hotham was apprenticed as a hatter in London. He appears to have married the daughter of his employer in 1743, and set up his own business selling hats in 1746. His business flourished, he moved the prestige premises, and became a member of the East India Company with four ships under his control. He was knighted in 1869 and became an MP in 1780.

His health began to decline, so in 1784 he came to stay in Bognor at the home of one of his ship captains. He subsequently returned and bought some land. Finding Bognor earth particularly suitable for brick making, Hotham began to build here, converting a farmhouse into a “commodious mansion” in 1787. This is taken as the date of the founding of Bognor as a resort, and celebrated on 18 January.

Hotham went on the acquire 1600 acres. He bought Hothampton Place and East Row overlooking what is now Waterloo Square. He also bought the Fox Inn, and turned into a seafront hotel at the end of West Street. In the 1790s Hotham built his new home, Chapel House, next to his original mansion and it was here that he died, on the 13 March 1799, with his dreams for Bognor still in the development stage.

A print of Richard Hotham.

A photograph of High Street, Bognor, c1920.

External photograph of the building – main entrance.

If you have information on the history of this pub, then we’d like you to share it with us. Please e-mail all information to: pubhistories@jdwetherspoon.co.uk