Built between 1887 and 1889 to directly rival the nearby Palace Hotel, the Empire Hotel was demolished in 1969. Rarely used as a hotel whilst it stood, The Empire was commandeered for military purposes during the First World War as the Canadian Discharge Depot, which had been previously located in Shoreham and then Bath. It had around 1,000 troops receiving medical attention at any one time.
Following the Second World War, the Empire Hotel never reopened and was occupied by squatters who were removed in 1949. The building fell into dereliction and was subsequently demolished in 1969. All that remains today of the Empire Hotel is the former gateway at the top of Carlisle Road.