Bognor, latterly to be called Bognor Regis as it is now known, was first created as a seaside resort by of Sir Richard Hotham.
In the summer of 1784, as a London Hatter, Sir Richard Hotham - (MP for Southwark at that time) decided to try the re-cuperative qualities of sea air and headed to this part of Sussex.
Sir Richard Hotham (1722-1799) an English 18th century property developer turned Bognor into a seaside resort. He found that the climate of the south coast had many benefits. He was so taken with the area that, having retired from politics, he decided to build his own mansion here, named ''Bognor Lodge'' (now Hotham Park House) and dreamed of building a new fashionable seaside resort.
Over time he bought up around 1600 acres of land and started to build large terraced houses to attract the wealthier visitor to his ''new'' seaside resort and his ultimate goal was to attract the then King and/or Prince of Wales.
Sir Richard Hotham died in Bognor in March 1799 and is buried at St. Mary Magdalene Church in South Bersted. Over the next hundred years or so, Bognor grew and tourism came to the town.