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Skindles Hotel.
A fly poster advertising the Strawbs, Budgie, and other acts at Skindles Hotel in 1976.

Skindles was a hotel in Maidenhead, England, on the Buckinghamshire bank of the River Thames by Maidenhead Bridge. It was formerly the Orkney Arms, built in 1743, but was turned from a coaching inn into a fashionable hotel by William Skindle in 1833.[1] In the 20th century, it became notorious as a place for adulterous assignations.[2] Its guests included Winston Churchill and Princess Margaret while musicians who performed there included The Rolling Stones and The Strawbs.[3] The hotel appears in the film Kind Hearts and Coronets.

A property developer bought the site in 2006 for just over £30m, but Irish Nationwide bank took it over in 2009 to try to recover a £40m loan; the property was then transferred to Irish bank NAMA. Barratt Homes and the National Grid then secured an option for most of the site for a joint development project involving housing and a hotel. South Buckinghamshire council adopted a residential-led development brief in July 2013, but argued that it would prefer Skindles Hotel itself to be renovated; any demolition proposals would need to be “robustly justified”.[4]

As of Summer 2013, the hotel's condition has begun to fall further into disrepair, with parts of the roof beginning to cave in and collapse under the repeated weathering caused by the recent hard winters that hit the UK.

The hotel's site was put up for sale by in November 2013 after Barratt's option expired. It was bought by housebuilder Berkeley Group in February 2014.[5]

Related names[edit]

During World War I, a popular café in Poperinghe was nicknamed Skindles, after the hotel, by the British officers who patronised it.[6]

A racehorse was named after Skindles Hotel.[7]


  1. ^ Leigh Hatts, The Thames Path, p. 99 
  2. ^ Paul Goldsack, River Thames: In the Footsteps of the Famous, English Heritage/Bradt, 2003.
  3. ^ "Eye Opener", The Sunday Times, August 28, 2005 
  4. ^ "42-acre rock star hotel site offered for resi development", PrimeResi, 1 Nov 2013 
  5. ^ "Berkeley bags 42-acre Skindles Hotel site", PrimeResi, 14 Feb 2014 
  6. ^ Philip Warner (1988), Passchendaele, pp. 215, 217, ISBN 978-0-689-11982-8 
  7. ^ Bloodstock Breeders' Association of Ireland (1956). The Irish horse. The Association. pp. 8, 24, 62. Retrieved 2 November 2011. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°31′28″N 0°42′04″W / 51.52450°N 0.70115°W / 51.52450; -0.70115