Rowlands Castle Tavern, now the Robin Hood Inn, has welcomed visitors for many years. A booklet written in 1860 “A visit to Rowlands Castle” describes that a good deal of gaiety at times, especially in the summer season, was enjoyed by visitors to the village.
As many as four and sometimes six van loads of people would arrive having visited Leigh Park House.
The deep Dell where once the Castle stood being surrounded by lofty trees rendered it a favourite spot for picnics. Picnickers were attracted by the enterprising landlord of the Tavern who provided refreshments a bands of music so they could picnic and dance about in the open.
A spacious assembly room was also added to the Tavern capable of holding up to 100 people, which opened with a Valentines Ball in 1861 and dancing kept up to a late hour with a band ably lead by a Professor Fleming of Land port. Things certainly hummed in those days and later the tavern’s name was changed to the Railway Hotel.
This article is taken from the booklet written by Mary Jane Lomer entitled ‘Round and About Rowlands Castle’ 2015, for which she retains the copyright.