THE Sussex Hotel in Above Bar was one of the best known hotel establishments of the past decades.

It is now almost 50 years since the name was last seen in the city’s main thoroughfare but there will many local people who will remember the distinctive original premises and its later rather bland replacement building of the 1960s.

Standing on the corner of Above Bar and Sussex Place, this Barlow Victoria Brewery pub was originally known as the Sussex Wine and Spirit Vaults before changing to the Sussex Hotel.

According to the archives, the history of the premises as a public house did not begin until about 1857 when the landlord of the Sussex was a Reuben Reed and by 1874 the building had become the Sussex Arms.

During the 1880s and 1890s it was reverted back to become the Sussex Tavern but by the turn of the century it was known as the Sussex Public House.

Henry Wakefield held the licence from 1920 to 1930 before the well-known Southampton figure Arthur George Cornish-Trestrall became the landlord for a period afterwards.

The original building survived the extensive bombing throughout the area during the Second World War, only to be demolished after its closure in June 1961 to make way for road improvements in Above Bar and for the first time in decades no licensed premises stood on the spot.

But its wasn’t long before the sound of clinking glasses were heard again when, just over a year later, a new Brickwoods Brewery building, with the same name, was built on the site.

The new building, part of a row of shops running from Palmerston Park to the corner of Pound Tree Road, was not successful, probably because it only had one huge bar that had to be entered via a long dark passageway.

Time was called on the Sussex for the last time in February 1967 and was replaced by several shops that have since changed owners several times.