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Home > Somerset > Clevedon > Royal Pier Hotel

Royal Pier Hotel

Rear of Royal Pier Hotel, 2022

Photo © Steve Turner

The Royal Pier Hotel was situated at 5 Marine Parade. Grade-II listed in 2001 as 'Hotel, now public house'. Originally known as Rock House it was built in 1823 by Thomas Hollyman. Local architect Hans Price extended it in 1868-69 for a Mrs Perry in time for opening of the pier and it was renamed Rock House & Royal Pier Hotel. W G Coles took over management prior to WWI and remained there until 1920 when their son Vivian took over. He died in 1932 but his wife Ellen continued with it, helped by her children. Famous visitors is said to have included Cary Grant, Tessie O'Shea and Ivor Novello. Allied troops occupied it for much of WWII. Clevedon Sailing Club was formed in the bar here in 1947. The Coles gave up management of the building in the 1950s. It closed in October 2001 after being used as Blitz nightclub and bar from the 1990s. It was saved from demolition by public opinion. One end was ruined by fire in May 2003 with the nearby historic pier closed after the heat weakened a chimney breast leaving it in danger of collapse. Despite the listing, the 20,000 sq ft building was converted into 17 luxury apartments, with the facade retained, in 2014-16. Architects were O’Leary Goss and Wotton Donoghue developed the design and produce all working drawings and details for Freemantle Developments Ltd. A search of my directories reveals; 1889 Otto O'klemm manager; 1897-1902 Alfred Brice manager; 1914 Henry Thomas Haynes Manager.
Listed building details:
Hotel, now public house. 1869 remodelling by Hans Price; extended circa 1890s. Rock-faced snecked stone with freestone dressings. Steeply-pitched slate hipped and gabled roof, the original iron ridge cresting is missing. Axial and gable-end stacks with stone and rendered shafts.
Plan: A long range, designed in two distinct parts; built into cliff with entrance at higher level on landward east front and lower seaward elevation at rear [W] with projecting circa 1890s bar extension on right [SW]. Victorian Gothic style.
Exterior: 2 storeys, attic and basement. Asymmetrical 3:3:1:2:1 bay east front; depressed 2-centred arch windows with alternating rusticated voussoirs, quoins and 4-pane sashes; on left canted bay with steeply-pitched hipped roof, stone frieze below eaves inscribed ROCK HOUSE HOTEL and projecting porch and integral bay with shouldered head doorway and windows; 2-storey gabled porch at centre, left bay set back with corbelled gabled oriel in the angle; small gables and triangular dormers. Left [S] return has similar depressed 2-centred arch windows and chimney breast with integral corbelled gable with stack above. Rear [W] elevation facing sea has basement level, circa 1890s bar extension projecting on right, two gables with arch-braced bargeboards, three steeply-pitched gabled dormers and similar depressed 2-centred arch windows.
Interior retains some C19 joinery, including open-well staircase with turned balusters and moulded mahogany handrail, and bar with panelled front to counter, panelled doors and moulded elliptical arches.
Note: The Pier, its tollhouse and The Royal Pier Hotel were built in 1869, the hotel to provide refreshments and accommodation for visitors brought by steamers who disembarked at the pier. The hotel is a remodelling of the earlier Rock House Hotel which existed in the 1820s.

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