A Brief History of the Hotel
The Priory Court has been a hotel for nearly 100 years and the oldest parts of the building with its oak beams date back to the mid 1700s. Once called Harold’s Lodge it has an interesting past with varying uses over the past 300 years.
In the early 1800s as Harold’s Lodge it was a large market garden with green houses stretching back to the north of the current buildings. In the mid to late 1800s the hotel was bought by the local vicar as an investment as he apparently believed the that vicarage to be substandard. Local history books record that he succeeded in his investment and sold the building to the church as the new vicarage for Pevensey in the late 1800s. Apparently the church then paid for extensive recommendations to the building. Unfortunately Church records for this time of very limited so it’s unclear as to what these renovations entailed.
It is known however that ‘Harold’s lodge’ was subsequently sold at an auction in the village in 1918 for the princely sum of £1500. In the auction catalogue it was listed as a six bedroom house, four-bedroom cottage and stable block.
It is believed that at this time ‘Harold’s Lodge’ became the Priory Court Hotel and subsequently saw many successful years as a hotel. However more recently the hotel fell on hard times and ceased trading approximately eight years ago. The hotel then sat empty for nearly 5 years during which time it was broken into several times by metal thieves who destroyed much of the interior and the hotel fell into a bad state of disrepair.
The current owners Vicky and Peter bought the rundown hotel in 2012 and set about restoring the buildings back to their former glory. Both Vicky and Peter had visited the hotel as children with their respective parents and were passionate about saving the hotel and bringing it back to life.
During the extensive refurbishment great effort has been taken to retain the original features of the building whilst bringing it up to date in a contemporary style. The new owners have opened the hotel in stages since in order to maximise the opportunity to get it right.
The ground floor of the hotel opened first, followed by the tearooms in the spring this year and the accommodation in July. The hotel is now fully open and proving very popular for weddings, functions, the traditional tearooms and its luxury accommodation.
This our first Christmas since re-opening will see the hotel restaurant opening for Christmas meals with an exciting menu on offer.