The Royal York Hotel was built in 1819 by combining three houses occupying part of the site of Steine House, the old Manor of Brighthelmstone. It was given various embellishments in the French Empire style and in 1851 became the home of the town's first telegraph office. However it had become derelict by the end of the 19th century and in 1901 was bought and restored by Harry Preston (later Sir Harry), an early motoring and flying enthusiast. He also promoted the surfacing of Madeira Drive as a motor-racing track. After Sir Harry's death in 1829 the hotel was bought by the Council, converted to offices and renamed Royal York Buildings. In 2007/8 it was converted back to a hotel.
Today it has retained its early 20th.C cast-iron porte-cochère but lost the first-floor balconies.
See also: William IV at the Royal York Hotel.