The Castle Hotel was purpose-built, as a hotel, about 1886 – it was one of the first buildings north of the railway line.
According to the records, at the ESRO, planning permission for the hotel was, probably, obtained in April when a Mr. G Leighton made an application for Stables, at the “Windsor Castle Hotel”.
It appears that the intention was to name the hotel “Windsor Castle” but it was shortened to The Castle before it opened in 1887.
George Leighton was the first licensee and, according to L.G. Bartley, in his book, “The Story of Bexhil” (Parsons, Bexhill, published 1971) the premises first catered for holiday visitors as well as professional and business men concerned with building the new town but, as the seafront hotels were built, holiday visitors were attracted to those, so the Castle became more of a commercial hotel. It appears that it ceased being a hotel in the early 1950s.
There are full page advertisements for the hotel in the street directories of 1888 and 1889, the latter repeated for some years. The later advert includes an engraving of the building from the south-east clearly showing an advertisement for ‘Ballard & Cos Pale & Mild Ales’ around the top parapet of the building and the detached coach house and stable building to Buckhurst Place. Both advertisements boast ‘tea, coffee, chops, steaks and cold luncheons on the shortest notice’!
A guide, of1890, said that ‘the Castle, a very comfortable, well managed hotel….’
In 1910 the “Bijou Cinema”, Bexhill’s first, was built next to the “Castle”.