DECEMBER 2015: One era ends, a new one begins. Ray Johnson and his partner Trish, landlord of the Castle Tavern since 2004 has retired, and with it the unique atmosphere of this small, intimate pub ceases to be. On the bright side it's reopening on the 23rd of January 2016 under new ownership.


Thought to have been built around 1873, the building opened up as the Castle Hotel and Tavern at the west end of Newland Road at what would be considered the northern gateway to Worthing town. It changed its name to O’Conner’s Bar and then the Tap & Tankard.
At the start of 1998, as the Tap & Tankard, the pub was boarded up and its future looked bleak only for it to later reopen. As had become the trend, the internal bars were removed in favour of a single open plan bar.

It is said that it was once the Head Quarters of the infamous Worthing Bonfire Boys launched in 1880.

In spite of mass development in the area the building remains standing on its original plot. Currently the area is dominated by a Morrison’s superstore.


On a Saturday evening visit we were a little surprised to find a selection of chilli sauces and samplers on the bar. Any new visitor can't resist the taste challenge watched by the knowledgeable landlord and knowing regulars. Warning, the smaller the bottle the stronger the effect, a great bit of fun.

Yes, that is Norman Wisdom

December 2015 - Ray Johnson interview

Known landlord/manager Snippit

1871 - Stephen Slaughter
1891 - Charles Cheale
1892 - Harry Peters
1926 - ET Cobby
1998 - 2001 Paula & Jonathan Sherlock.
1900's Terry 'The Bow Tie'
1901 - Minnie Peters
2001 - Colin & Karen Batrick (Tap & Tankard)
2004 - 2015 Ray Johnson

Snippet: It was used briefly in an episode of the short-lived TV police drama 'Cuffs'