Royal Hotel, Weymouth

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The Royal Hotel with the U.S. Forces World War II Memorial in the foreground.

Royal Hotel is a 19th-century hotel, located at Weymouth, Dorset, England. It is found along the town's seafront, overlooking Weymouth Beach and Weymouth Bay. The building has been Grade II Listed since 1974.[1]

Replacing a predecessor hotel of the same name, the current hotel was opened in 1899 and designed in a Northern Renaissance style. Historic England describing it as a "forceful building, in the manner of Richard Norman Shaw's more monumental work in this style and demonstrating a characteristic late Victorian approach to urban development".[1]

History[edit]

Towards the end of the 18th-century, Weymouth was becoming a popular seaside resort, which was greatly boosted by King George III's numerous visits.[2] Sea bathing at the town had become established by the 1770s, prior to the King's first visit in 1789.[3] During this period, complaints were made about the lack of "desirable" accommodation establishments within the town. In response, builder Andrew Sproule built a hotel along the seafront. Named Stacie's Hotel after the proprietor Mr. Stacie, the hotel opened in 1773.[4]

It was one of the first purpose-built hotels to capitalise on Weymouth's early development as a resort. It was built with its own assembly room, which proved popular enough to replace the town's original at Trinity Street.[3] Soon renamed the Royal Hotel, the establishment patronised by King George III. In 1805, a grand dinner was held at the hotel to celebrate the birthday of Princess Amelia. Although the Royal family dined at their nearby holiday home Gloucester Lodge, they received guests at the hotel and later rejoined them at the evening ball.[5]

The original hotel was demolished in 1891 and plans for a replacement were then drawn up by Charles Orlando Law. Construction began with the laying of the foundation stone in 1897 by the Mayor of Weymouth, Charles Jesty. Built using red brick, with Portland stone dressings, the hotel was completed in 1899 and opened on 16 May that year. Along with a carriage house, a ballroom known as Queen's Ballroom was built to the rear of the building.[1]

During World War II, the hotel was requisitioned for use as the local headquarters of the United States military.[3] Both Weymouth and Portland were major embarkation points for Allied troops involved in the Normandy landings.[6] Requisitioned in 1943, the hotel reopened in on 26 November 1945.[7] The hotel continues to operate to date and is now part of Bay Hotels chain.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "ROYAL HOTEL AND QUEENS BALLROOM, Weymouth and Portland - 1365861". Historic England. Retrieved 2017-10-26.
  2. ^ "Weymouth,Dorset,England - Weymouth and King George III". Weymouth-dorset.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-10-26.
  3. ^ a b c https://content.historicengland.org.uk/images-books/publications/weymouths-seaside-heritage/weymouths-seaside-heritage.pdf/
  4. ^ "Weymouth Through Time - Debby Rose - Google Books". Books.google.co.uk. 2008-11-23. Retrieved 2017-10-26.
  5. ^ "The Public and Domestic Life of George the Third Comprising the Most ... - Edward Holt - Google Books". Books.google.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-10-26.
  6. ^ "Troop embarkation point, Weymouth - D-Day Museum and Overlord Embroidery". Ddaymuseum.co.uk. 1944-06-06. Retrieved 2017-10-26.
  7. ^ "Homes, Accommodation". Western Gazette. 7 December 1945. p. 4.
  8. ^ "Bay Royal Hotel in Weymouth". Bay Hotels. Retrieved 2017-10-26.

Coordinates: 50°36′49″N 2°27′12″W / 50.61364°N 2.45344°W / 50.61364; -2.45344