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Plans revealed for rebuilding of Royal Clarence hotel facade

25 July 2017 by

The new façade of the Royal Clarence hotel in Exeter, which was destroyed by a devastating fire last year, will be as true as possible to the original.

Plans for the external frontage of the building overlooking Cathedral Green will be unveiled tomorrow at a public consultation. Andrew Brownsword Hotels, the owner, has worked with Historic England and Exeter City Council to preserve surviving historical and architectural features of the Grade II-listed, largely 18th century building.

Restored features will include distinctive iron work and stained glass windows. Meanwhile, the interior of the hotel is currently in the process of being designed.

Believed to be one of England's oldest hotels, the four-AA-star, 53-bedroom Royal Clarence, which operated as the Abode Exeter, was demolished following the fire, which broke out in an adjacent art gallery in the early hours of 28 October.
No-one was injured in the blaze which was the largest fire in Exeter since the Second World War.

Andrew Brownsword described the publication of the plans as "a wonderful moment, after the initial heartbreak and months of deconstruction".

He continued: "As we said at the time of the fire, 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. I'm delighted with the proposed new façade and we look forward to hearing comments from the people of Exeter and to restoring our corner of Cathedral Green back to its former glory."

David Shatwell, director of architects Buttress, added: "Having taken every effort to stabilise the building, save as much as possible of what remains and prepare detailed research into the history of the building, parts of which date from the 16th century, we are delighted to now be taking the first steps toward rebuilding this beautiful building".

The external plans of the Royal Clarence will be available for viewing at St Martins Church in Cathedral Close, from 2 to 8pm, tomorrow.

It is hoped that the hotel will reopen in 2019.

History of the Royal Clarence hotel published >>

Royal Clarence hotel enters rebuild phase >>

Andrew Brownsword pledges to rebuild fire ravaged Royal Clarence hotel >>
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