This is probably the view that most of us will remember of the Rivoli Pub (left) in Teville Gate. The plot is situated at the top end of Chapel Road, previously North Street which didn't at the time lead directly into the Town centre, but instead headed off towards the old High Street.


We know that back in the 1800s there was a house on the plot owned by Charles Carter, who was a brewer by profession. Records suggest that by the 1820s a brewery existed adjacent or behind the house along with stabling. The brewery became known, naturally enough,  as Carters Brewery.
The Carters were replaced by James Belchamber in 1834 and it became Teville Brewery. In 1836 Robert Watkin's took over and it became the Crown Inn and Brewery. This was later to change to the Railway Hotel with the advent of the railway line and station building.


Those of us local to the area know that this wasn't the nearest public house to the station, but at the time the original station building much closer and predates the nearer building.



It has been suggested that Richard Tamplin, a Brighton Brewer, made use of the brewery when his burnt down. (rebuilt and renamed the Phoenix Brewery, Brighton). Tamplin had several pubs in the Worthing area, notably in Tarring Village. The picture above shows the original Railway Hotel.

One of the most enduring names associated with the pub was that of the Howell family. Walter Howell became the owner at the very start of the 1900s with his wife  Ellen.

The building changed shape several times and latterly became divided. The hotel side, was run by Ellen Howell and managed by Jesse Howell whilst the Railway Hotel Tap, regarded as a separate entity, was under the direction of Walter Howell and various combinations of sons! We're not 100% sure when the brewery side ceased but think it may have been around 1870. The now unused brewery and stables became a motorcar garage, the obvious successor to the horse.


The Howell family had interests in the Pier Hotel, the Montague Arms, the Albion, the Downview and the Fountain. In 1964 the Railway Hotel became the Lennox and after that the Rivoli. The building was demolished in 2004 after a devastating fire.

Patrick Howell remembers . . .

"Walter's father, William, who ran the George Inn at Portslade in 1865, married twice. He had five children by his first wife, and eight by his second. George was the eldest of them all. The Tap was undoubtedly the old cottage which stood in the back yard and garden of the Railway Hotel. In the 1911 Census, he was described as an Ostler and gardener. The horses were probably stabled in what became a motor garage at about that time, and was run by Edmund Briggs, who was still there in the fifties, when my uncle Maurice took over the garage. His office was in the front part of the Tap.

All Walter's sons used their middle names. Walter James Harold Howell was Harold; George Sydney Herbert Howell was Sydney; and Cecil Frank Maurice Howell was Frank.
The pub at the Railway was split into four bars, the Public Bar, where the beer was cheapest; the Saloon Bar; the Smoking Room; and the Jug and Bottle, which was essentially a takeaway point. In the Second War, they could sell all the beer they could get, and even served it in jam jars on occasion! There was also an open air urinal in the hotel and garage yard, for those who had drunk their fill."


MYSTERY may forever surround the cause of Worthing's biggest blaze since 1987. Fire officials were unable to enter the former function room at the back of the Rivoli pub to investigate what caused last Wednesday's inferno because the building was so unsafe it could have collapsed.
Gary Towson, spokesman for West Sussex Fire and Rescue service, said: "The investigation was hampered because the building was likely to collapse."It is going to be very difficult to establish the cause but arson is not being ruled out and further enquiries are being made." Firefighters from Worthing were first called to the Chapel Road site at 7.20pm after neighbours reported thick black smoke billowing from the rear of the derelict pub.
More than 100 car tyres, which had been stored in the building, caught fire, causing thick, acrid smoke, which smothered the town centre area. There were also fears gas cylinders could have been stored at the derelict site, so police cordoned off the area and evacuated homes. Incident commander Neil Stocker said: "As part of the building was also reportedly being used as a workshop, there were concerns about gas cylinders exploding.
The Rivoli has been shut for more than a year but there have been reports of at least one other fire in the building last year, believed to have been caused by squatters.

Fire consumes the Rivoli Hotel
Known landlord/manager  

1800 - 1824 Charles & Hannah Carter
1824 - 18?? James Penfold
18?? - 1834 James Belchamber (Teville Brewery)
1836 - 1839 Watkins and Puttock (Crown Inn & Brewery)
1839 - 1840 Thomas Attree (Crown Inn)
???? - 1845 William Cobby
1848 - 1855  Thomas Henney (The Railway Hotel)
1857 - ???? Owen Godley
1858 - 1863 Henry Norman
1866 - 1869 Henry Butler
1870 - 1881 Mrs Sarah Marsh
1881 - 1889 John Hammond
1890 - 1891 Mrs Maria Hammond (Widow)
1896 - 1899 C Cheesley
1900 - 1901 Walter Howell
1901 - 1911 Ellen Howell
1912 - 1913 Walter Howell
1914 - 1925 - Howell & Sons
1928  - Building enlarged.
1926 - 1966 - Frank Howell (Cecil Frank Maurice Howell)
1965 - 1994 Lennox
1994 - Re-named 'The Rivoli'