The Dome is located within the grounds of the University of Chichester and was built in 1792 by Sir Richard Hotham, the founder of modern Bognor Regis. It acquired its name due to the shape of the building. The Dome was the central of three buildings including Mordington and St. Michaels which together made up Hothampton Crescent.
The Dome - Copyright of Cartland (1979) Bygone Bognor - Picture 12
Originally, St Michaels was known as East Lodge and later became known as Arran Lodge between 1856 until the 1940’s. After the 1940’s, its main purpose served as a school for young ladies, a Church of England boarding school for the daughters of gentlemen.
St. Michaels - Copyright of Cartland (1979) Bygone Bognor - Picture 10
Mordington was known as the West Lodge, built in the 1790’s and was used in conjunction with East Lodge in 1936. It finally became Mordington in 1870 however the origin of this name is unknown.
Mordington - Copyright of Young (1983) A History of Bognor Regis - Picture 6
The Dome was built as part of Sir Richard’s development of the town as an attraction for royalty however, the only royalty to visit at the time was Princess Charlotte in 1808. Since the days of Sir Richard Hotham, the Dome has had many uses. The building was used as private residence until 1946 when the Dome, was purchased and used as an emergency teaching centre for ex-armed forces to do a one year course in teaching. The first principal was William Roy Macklin who has since been rewarded with a commemorating plaque.
The Dome is now used as part of the University of Chichester which continues to train teachers today!