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Royal Pier Hotel, Ryde

REF NR: 1575

Early Ryde Foreshore

Although we can't be exact we judge the adjacent canvas and its centred building to be very close to the position of where Royal Pier Hotel would have stood. Note the large logs seasoning before being planked for boat building. The centre building is also understood to be one of the first pubs / inns in Ryde  - providing a rest point for travellers coming over from Portsmouth. It was initially known as the The Passage Hoy and later as The Bugle.


Early Esplanade Prints Around The Site Of The Royal Pier Hotel

The above is by C Tomkins - engraved in 1795. As you can see there are only now a few buildings at the foot of the small jetty or pier. The vast works and changes are yet to happen. Further engravings by this artist can be found in island engravers' histories.


New information suggests the above plate was engraved by William Westal ARA publsihed in 1842. Examine the major changes that occurred in 47 years in the time between.This was mainly due to the development of the pier in 1814, which allowed for trade and commerce to continue unhindered by the tidal falls seen at Ryde and the gaining of town status in 1829. The slipway in the foreground was known as "Horseboat Slip" and is now submerged under the concrete apron used by the hovercraft.


Pictured: Postcard Showing Ryde Pier, Royal Pier Hotel & Esplanade


The railway was completed and used for service in July 1880. We think the above was taken in the early 1920s.


The Coaching Era

Above is one of Young's coaches departing Royal Pier hotel. If you look closely, you can just make out the Royal Pier Hotel external hanging lamp/sign in the doorway and an additional reading "The Gordon Hotels", as Royal Pier Hotel was a member of the Gordon Hotels chain. This  included The Grand Hotel in London and several named The Hotel Métropole in London, Monte Carlo, Cannes and Brighton.


Later Transport


Pictured above is Royal Pier Hotel with what appears to be a new bus service. Note the advertising for Yelf & Co. on the livery and the registration of the vehicle being DL-78, which is a very early record of licensed island motor transport.


Royal Pier Hotel's Last Days

Three further shots of the hotel can be viewed on the bubble and a fourth shot showing the rough area at the bottom of Union Street that the hotel used to occupy after the area was developed.


Royal Pier Hotel was demolished in the 1930s to allow for better access to Union Street for the town's main traffic flow - moving it away from St. Thomas Street.


Time Moves On


The photo above shows a further update to the area with the start of the proposed bypass as can be seen with the demolition of the western bandstand and skating rink. They were replaced by the start of a concrete road. That was curtailed, however, in the late 1960s.

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