The Spaniard Hotel opened in Chapel Street in, or around 1808. The street was later renamed Portland Road so as to avoid confusion with nearby Chapel Road, home of St Paul's.

The picture on the left is dated to around 1913 when the landlord was one FJ Tattersell, who had been there since 1899 until his death in 1930 when his widow took his place.

The structure consists of two large buildings, only one of which is signed as the Spaniard Hotel. The larger gated entrance on the plainer building no doubt led to stabling whilst the upstairs of both made up the hotel section.

The single floor addition in the foreground would most likely contain the off licence, or Bottle & Jug as they were often known. A sign above the street face reads 'Wines & Spirits'. The white notice board adjacent is very probably a list of coach arrivals and departures. It was commonplace in the period to make hotels stopping points as they derived their origin from coaching inns.

1890 or thereabouts, William Mates, the proprietor at the time, was charged with entering and stealing money from The Pier Hotel. Found guilty he was sent to prison for 8 months. This would have been the end of his business as no convicted felon is allowed to hold a licence to sell liquor.

Pictured right shows the modernisation of the building, the right half reflecting the tastes of the day. We have to admire the landlord or brewery in their tactic of keeping the business running during what is clearly a total rebuild. Unfortunately we don't as yet know what date this happened.


The completed building took on a distinctive Tudor/Queen Ann style with twisted brick chimneys. This must have been a striking building in its time. The owners, Catering Houses Ltd, were a subsidiary of Friary Maux.

At the time this picture was taken the building boasted, 13 bedrooms all fitted with wash-basins. Residents' lounge, Restaurant to seat 40, Lounge bar, Saloon Bar, Central heating, Electric fires and a car park.

Three entrances can be clearly distinguished. The Public Bar, The Saloon and The Lounge Bar. The Residents bar/lounge would have been a separate area.


When the Spaniard comes up in conversation as it often does, most recall that it sat where the modern day Boots the Chemist stands today. As can be seen in this photograph of 1975, it didn't quite reach that far down Portland Road, however in all fairness, the back half of Boots does rest where the Spaniard once existed. The tall chimney depicted is where the modern chemist building stops today.

Note also that Portland Road, which once led down to the sea front has now become stunted when Marks and Spencer's expanded across it.



These recent additions are all courtesy of Leigh Lawson of Broadwater, as well as Chris Larrington (Leigh's husbands' cousin) who took the more recent photographs in situ from the Spaniard itself.

From the Brochure:

The Spaniard Hotel derives its name, so it is said, from an unnamed Spaniard who came ashore at Worthing after swimming from the battered Armada, and settled on the site. Be that as it may, there is now an excellent little hotel situated in Portland Road, the sea being less than 400 yards from the house as the crow flies.
The Spaniard Hotel caters for those who want a comfortable and inexpensive holiday and its restaurant has a wider than local reputation for its good food and cooking. For those who seek a  more intimate atmosphere the "Armada Grill" adjoining the Lounge Bar, offers a variety of seasonable dishes both hot and cold.
The bedrooms are bright and well appointed and all beds have spring interior mattresses. There is a comfortable lounge for residents on the first floor, where television is available.
Cleanliness, comfort and efficiency, together with reasonable charges are the aim of the management who constantly endeavour to ensure the well-being of all visitors. The hotel has its own parking space for a limited number of cars. The amenities of Worthing are too well known to enumerate, having all that are most desirable in a first class seaside resort. The very many places of interest in the vicinity are easy of access, either on foot or by public transport.


A recent find. This sign, a polite way of saying Ladies Toilets, resides in the home of local author Leigh Lawson of Broadwater. Leigh's husbands' parents,  Howard and Doreen managed the pub in around 1970 to 1973. They also run the Fountain for a short period of time. Our thanks to Leigh for permission to use this picture and others.



Above, Douglas and Molly James, Landlord and Landlady of the Spaniard in the 1950s. Kindly donated by their daughter Sheila. 

Right: One of the bars at the time. Note the small statue of a Spaniard above the fireplace, clearly paying homage to its naming origin which is said to be the capture of a sailor from the Spanish armada who was held captive in the pub. As the Armada started in 1588 it seems a little unlikely that this building was involved.

Pictures by Gloria Cleife
Roy behind the bar of the Spaniard 1976
Gloria and Derek playing Bar Billiards 1976 Roy and Derek 1976

Gloria recalls: " we took over from June & Roy in December 1976, and stayed there until it closed down, we were there at Easter and it was absolutely packed out, I did 172 meals on my own as staff did not turn up, but we loved it there, such a shame that it was demolished" Unfortunately Roy has since passed.


To be sold by Auction by Mr. Bartlett, on the premises, Friday, the 13th of December, 1811, precisely at twelve o’clock. A Truly desirable, valuable, and freehold INN, called the SPANIARD, situate in the Town of Worthing, near the sea, and built about three years ago, comprising numerous apartments, neatly fitted up and judiciously planned, together with a detached kitchen, mangle, and soldiers’ room, paved yard, pump of excellent water, and cellars under the whole of the house, which is 35 feet in front, and 33 feet in depth. The situation of these premises are among those of the superior class, to which an abundant trade as attached, and of which an early possession will be given. The decided preference given to Worthing this last season, as well as on most others hitherto, as a watering place, must in a great measure rank its property of the valuable kind.

Known landlord/manager Snippet

1811 - Jesse Tuff
1812 - 1838 - Frances Julia Tuff (Mrs - widow of above)
1838 - James Tuff
1848 - Kent Payne
1851 - Henry Nash
1855 - Walter Belton
1858 - 1866 - Maria Bicknell
1890 - William Mates
1891 - Frances & Edward Tattersell
1901 - 1930's - Frances Tattersell (widow)
1950s - Doug & Molly James
1960's Brewer Family (Colin)
1969 - 1974 - Howard and Doreen Lawson
1974 - Heidi and Norman Brown
????- June and Roy Mallinson
1976 - Roy and Gloria Cleife

1848: Mr Kent Payne, formally a grocer in the London Road, Brighton, and afterwards landlord of the Spaniard Inn, Worthing, committed suicide on Tuesday morning, by hanging himself in a stable adjoining the inn. Pecuniary embarrassments are said to have led to the commission of the fatal act.

(Pecuniary - money problems)