A landmark hotel and pub has been taken over by Lancing College.

The Sussex Pad, which is located on the edge of the school’s estate in Old Shoreham Road, had been on the market for more than a-year-and-a-half.

Former owners, Sue and Wally Pack, had to give up the business due to Wally’s poor health.

Its future was thrown into doubt but Lancing College stepped in with an undisclosed offer, putting pen to paper on Tuesday, June 12.

Pauline Bulman, the college bursar, said: “We are very pleased with it and have lots of exciting ideas for its future use.

The original Sussex Pad, which was destroyed in a fire in 1905, dates back to the 15th century.

The original hotel was a favourite haunt of smugglers who found its cellars a convenient place to store contraband.

Leader of Adur District Council, Neil Parkin, said: “It’s a loss for the Adur economy but more than that a loss for the people of Adur.

“It was something of a landmark and I have very fond memories of the place.”

Mrs Bulman refused to go into details about its future use, but said the college had “all sorts of exciting ideas”.

She added: “We’ve had a few people come in and ask if we’re open but it has not been too bad.”

Coun Parkin added: “It was Adur’s only hotel really. I mean there are bed and breakfasts but no hotels as such.

“It was used by parents visiting their children at Lancing College and was always popular for the Shoreham Airshow.”

The hotel had two restaurants, Ladywells and Honeymans Outlook.

Ladywells was awarded two rosettes by the AA and a commendation from the RAC for its excellent food.