In 1798 the first public house was built by William Sutton named the Original Hotel. Situated at South Hawes, next to a bathing house that he built in 1792, for bathers from Churchtown. It became a popular vacation and seaside resort.
Local tradition has it that the Duke of York made an unexpected visit in his travels and is said to have been so impressed that he gave permission to add "Royal" to the name of the hotel. William Sutton made a habit of telling this story to everyone and was soon given the nickname of "Duke".
Local tradition also states that some gentlemen out celebrating one night decided to perpetuate the occasion by throwing a bottle of port on the ground saying "the place shall be known, not as South Hawes, but as South Port".