The Castle - West Tarring Village - 1762 to 1911

The Castle, or Old Castle as it is sometimes known, can trace its origins as an inn back to 1762, but the building itself could go as far back as 1642. It  traded as an Inn from 1839.

For a time Richard Tamplin, (founder of Tamplins Ales and later the Phoenix Brewery in Brighton), owned three pubs in the village until the Vine opened its doors opposite the Castle.

The Norris family owned and ran the family business for some 45 years, passing from one generation to another. The last pint was pulled in 1911 when the building was converted in to a private house. Thankfully, the current owners have kept the original blue lantern above the door.

2014: We are grateful to the owners for their special permission to have a private tour of the building. A great deal of care has been given to preserve the interior, showing off its original features to their best advantage. As you can see from the picture opposite, it isn't as straight forward as one might presume.

As this is someone's home, the internal pictures have been purposely limited out of respect.


As you would imagine, the insides have seen a great deal of change. These were times when planning permission simply didn't exist.

It is thought that the front ground floor was divided into three sections, which would have been the norm at the time. At a later date the centre section was removed. In order to support the great beams and the floors above, two Victorian iron pillars were installed. the second support has been cleverly hidden in a false upright.

The two pictures below show examples of internal changes. Partitions, doors and even a staircase was removed. The current owners have discovered supporting evidence in their renovations and preservation.



Here an old fireplace has been uncovered. Evidence is visible deeper inside of some lime and straw construction.

It might only be a door handle to you  but it can clearly be seen that this crude, but functional beaten, iron handle known as a snecklifter was probably the work of the local Blacksmith a couple of hundred years ago.


Still in situ, the well pump. Oddly enough it has always been on the outside of the building. It is connected to the well itself.

The well itself. When recently rediscovered, it was covered by a gravestone!


One of the outside toilets. Not the original structure but more than likely the original position.

The view from the back of the Inn. The garden appears to be immense, which it is. It was at one time home to a stable block (hence the term Inn) and a slaughter house in or around 1762. The far building is the old coach house itself.
Bit of a puzzle this one. One wall that runs along the northern boundary has these recesses in the flint work. The design is clearly intentional. the current owners think that they may have been used to hold lamps.

If you know different or can confirm this we would love to pass it on.

Known landlord/manager  

1839 - J Hide & Richard Tamplin
1851 - Frederick Street
1859 - 
F Street
1866 - 
Luke Norris
1890 - Luke Norris
1894 - Mrs Caroline Norris (wife of Luke Norris)
1905 - Alfred C Norris (son of Luke Norris)
1911 - Closed. Licence transferred to Thomas A Becket