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A Brief Story of Bognor Regis

In the mid 1780’s, Richard Hotham, a hatter from London, stayed at a farmhouse in Bognor. This hamlet of Bognor Rocks, named after the rocks in the sea to the south of the town, had originated from the Saxon settlement of Bucgrenora.

For centuries the hamlet existed from fishing and smuggling, with wheat and barley being farmed inland, until the arrival of Richard Hotham. Hotham subscribed to the popular belief of the time – that bathing in seawater cured a number of ills and recuperating in the sea air was beneficial to all.

With this thought in mind, Hotham purchased the farmhouse in which he had stayed over the previous years, together with 1,600 acres of land in the surrounding area. His dream was to create the town of “Hothampton” and it was from that dream that Bognor Regis was born.