One Year On: The Royal Clarence
Hotel Owner’s Media statement: The Royal Clarence, Exeter
(25 October 2017) Reflecting on a year since the fire which tragically destroyed The Royal Clarence Hotel, John Badley, Regional General Manager and in charge of the hotel on the night, has been reflecting on his memories of the events of 28 October 2016.
“It’s hard to believe the fire was a year ago. In some ways, the memories for both myself, and the city, seem so recent, so it’s hard to believe it’s been a year already. Work until now has been mostly to make the site safe and make preparations for the rebuild to commence, so it’s exciting to start seeing the first details of the new Royal Clarence, such as the impressive new façade. With work ongoing to draw up interior plans, we’re making great progress towards our final goal of returning the hotel back to the city and I’m looking forward to the year ahead, and hopefully to reopening our doors once more in 2019”.
Andrew Brownsword, owner of The Royal Clarence, comments,
“We continue to thank all those involved in rebuilding The Royal Clarence, from the emergency services at the time of the fire, through to those involved in the rebuild today. The support, and patience, we’ve been shown by the people of Exeter has been fantastic, and we look forward to restoring our corner of Cathedral Yard back to its former glory”.
Since The Royal Clarence Hotel was devastated by fire in October 2016, structural engineers Thomasons have been on site working with archaeologists on the deconstruction of the building, making every effort to save as many historical features as possible. The deconstruction process is now complete, with the remaining elements of the Grade II listed building now made safe.
Architects have been appointed to oversee the repair and rebuild of The Royal Clarence Hotel. Having worked on site from the outset with the structural engineers to assess the extent of thedamage, a detailed research into the history of the building has also been prepared, parts of which date from the 16th century, to be used to inform the restoration process.
Stephanie Hocking, CEO Andrew Brownsword Hotels, has commented on the overview aims of the rebuild that, “Our aim has always been to preserve as many surviving features of historic and architectural importance as we can, and where possible, incorporate them into the rebuild. As we pledged at the outset, we will endeavour to restore the distinctive façade of The Royal Clarence so that it sits proudly overlooking the cathedral once more. We are delighted to be headed toward the rebuild phase and look forward to delivering a hotel the city can once again be proud of”.
Continuing at current rates of progress, the rebuild is expected to take around 18 months, with Andrew Brownsword Hotels aiming to re-open The Royal Clarence Hotel in 2019.
Andrew Brownsword Hotels:
ABode Hotels is part of Andrew Brownsword Hotels, a collection of 13 privately owned hotels, located in some of the UK’s most beautiful places. Comprised of seven countryside properties, five city centre ABode hotels, and Sydney House Chelsea, Andrew Brownsword Hotels is owned by Christina and Andrew Brownsword CBE DL, who strive to create very special places that truly embody their own ethos of great hospitality. www.brownswordhotels.co.uk
ABode Exeter/The Royal Clarence, is currently closed for restoration following the fire there in October 2016.
Andrew & Christina Brownsword CBE DL additionally also own and operate The Imperial Torquay.