Welcome to www.worthingpubs.com, dedicated to researching the history of our local pubs.

This study is ongoing and we welcome contributions, stories, pictures etc that will expand our knowledge and bring back memories of times past.
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The Half Brick has lead a chequered life so far. The original building from around 1835 stood some 200 yards forward of the present one and its no surprise that it suffered some sea damage - firstly in 1850, it was almost washed away in 1869. It was rebuilt further back in its present position in 1874 using it is claimed 'half brick' or 'bats' as they were known. The story seems to hold water (no pun intended), as the land directly east was known as Brickfields, a name earned as it produced a good quality clay ideal for brick making. In fact, many of Worthing's old buildings were made with these distinctive yellow Worthing Bricks.

Pictured - Mary Ann Barnett (nee Whittington), wife of Alfred Barnett taken around 1868 and very likely on her 21st birthday. Alfred died on the 2nd of December 1907, leaving the princely sum of 1,926, 8 shillings and 10d. Mary Ann's niece Emily Kate Griffin worked at the Half Brick as a barman's assistant in 1901.

Discovered by Peter Huntly: Alfred Barnett of the 'Half Brick Inn' Brighton Road. Worthing. Innkeeper, died 2nd December 1907. Probate Chichester 30th December to Mary Ann Barnett widow Effects 1926 8s 10d


A picture that has just come to light. Date unknown at this time. The pub I think you will admit looks possible the best it ever has.

The Half Brick Quoits team posing on the beach opposite the pub. Date and players unknown.



What's in a name?
There have been long debates as to the origin of the Half Brick name. Jacqueline Simpson, author of Green Men & White Swans, the folklore of British Pub Names, puts forward the three usual suspects:
1) It was built of thin half bricks from the nearby brickfields.
 2) The bottom half was made of brick.
 3) When it was washed away only a half brick remained and that brick was incorporated in to the existing building.
 The brick opposite is from the 1874 building.

As the building was set on what was known as Worthing Common, right on the waters edge, it is very unlikely to have been made of brick. More likely, is a wooden beam and planking, in keeping with the other buildings along the coast line. This of course, means it would have originated with a different name - the proof of this came to light in the census of 1841 - it was the Brewers Arms.


Here we can clearly see Mr William Shepard (Publican) and his wife Ann along with Sampson Ashbourne who was the gate keeper at the nearby Toll House.

It is clear that the Half Brick was its second name, arriving with its second rebuild, which we can probably assume had a more solid foundation and lower walls of brick thus a 'Half Brick' building. The upper section, or possibly upper floor, would still be made of cheaper wooden beams and shingle weather boards.

The map on the right shows its final resting place - here it is simply named 'Inn'.




The demise of a pub is always a sad thing, but fortunately the oldest section of the pub is a listed building and has to be kept. To this end the apartments that are taking its place have to incorporate the original frontage.  

Known Landlords

1841 - William Shepherd
1850 - Sea damage
1859 - J Venn
1866 -
W Goddard
1869 - Partly washed away
1874 - Rebuilt
1878 - 1882 Walter Beck
1890 - Robert Sinclair
1891 - Alfred Barnett
1892 - Alfred Barnett
1899 - Alfred Barnett
1905 - Alfred Barnett
1915 - Thomas Green
Last Landlord:
Bob Brookes

We have received the above information from a chap called Mark in Brisbane (Australia) who was kind enough to pass this on. He has been researching his family tree and discovered Robert above and also a Robert Williams, both of which he thinks has ties with the Half Brick and possibly Tarring Village.

MARK: Can you contact me, we have found a family connection for you.