Building of the Month – The Warnes Hotel

Warnes Hotel evolved from York terrace which was built in the 1820s eventually taking over further houses and Steyne House to occupy the whole site.

The hotel was named after George Herbert Warne(1864-1916) a Brighton entrepreneur who owned and managed it for the first 17 years of its 86 year existance.

2 years after its opening it became the largest Worthing Hotel after the Royal was destroyed in a fire.

George Warne was an avid motorist and his hotel was the first on the south coast to have a garage with a trained mechanic. In 1902 George Warne organised a motor trial for 250 competitors from Crystal Palace to Worthing with lunch served in the hotel. Over 300 competitors took part in 2nd trial in 1905.

These trials inspired the London to Brighton car run which still place every November.

Famous people who have stayed at Warnes Hotel include King Edward VII King, George V, Emperor Haile Selassie of Abbyssinia, Winston Churchill, Generals Eisenhower & Montgomery.

With a limit on modernisation to a 150 year old property the Hotel eventually closed in 1985.

The building suffered a catastrophic fire in 1987 was demolished in 1992 and the current block of flats were built in 2006.

2 Worthing Society plaques were erected in 2006 commemorating the famous visitors and the site of the motorists mecca promoted by George Warne.

David Pateman
Worthing Society member

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