This hotel at the bottom corner of Wellington Square, built on the site of a former thatched house that had been used as a gin house in 1818 was described by Ross in 1845 as being a well known old establishment, with comfortable and snug apartments. The hotel was the first major hotel to open in the 'new town' of Hastings as growth stretched westward from George Street
The hotel had assembly, smoking, coffee, billiard and many other rooms whilst in the hands of Mr W. Pawley according to Whiteman's guide and operated what could be described as a tourist information facility when in the hands of James Emary who had moved from the Swan Hotel between 1831 and 1835. The hotel was designated as a 'coach stop' replete with coach-houses and stabling that had coaches bound to and from Brighton and London. Emary's daughter Frances had a brief spell as proprietor during 1858 when it was known as the "Castle Hotel and Posting House".
In December of 1858, construction of a concert and assembly room measuring 55 by 25 ft., with a ceiling height of 20 feet commenced. The owner at the time, James Emary, also put in place plans to alter the front by changing the bow windows to cant windows according to plans drawn up by Mr. Henry Carpenter, architect. The concert room was possibly aimed as competition for the new Music Hall that had advertised for share capital in the early part of that year with the plans being drawn up by the same architect and would, following construction, be leased to Messrs. Lockey and Lindridge.
At the time of the 1871 Census taken in March of that year, Maria E. Lock, a 47 year old widower was the manager and had 8 guests and thirteen live-in staff under the roof.
References & Notes
- Hastings of Bygone Days and the Present (Henry Cousins - 1911) pg.303 ISBN: 9789332862449 ESCC Library Google Books " Amazon
- A Guide to Hastings & St Leonards (Thomas Ross 1835) pg.24 Google Books
- Whiteman's guide to Hastings, St. Leonards, and the neighbourhood – Spencer Whiteman (6th ed) pg.29 Google Books
- Brett Manuscript Histories Vol. 7, Chap. 60 Pg. 59