The Royal Hotel stood on the late Woolworths’ site on the east side of Above Bar Street, just south of Pound Tree Road. It dated back to the 1820s and Brannon’s print of c.1849 shows it to have been a fine and imposing building with a frontage of over 100 feet. A sales notice of 1855 shows the hotel then had 9 sitting rooms, coffee rooms, bar and parlour, commercial room, 27 bedrooms making up 31 beds, 2 servants' rooms, 6 conveniently-place water closets, waiters' room, kitchen, scullery, servants' hall, larders and cellars. The hotel was a favourite with actors and guests included Henry Irving and Frank Benson. Dickens also stayed here. The license lapsed in 1919 and the premises were first used as a Y.M.C.A. hostel and were later shared by Woolworths and the local gas company, before being destroyed in World War Two. The new Woolworths’ store was built on the site in the 1950s.

Royal Hotel

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Photograph, 1917

Royal Hotel

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Philip Brannon’s engraving of Above Bar Street which shows the Royal Hotel on the left, c.1849.


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