Ref Number: 00445
The building used to stand at the bottom of Union Street, it can be seen on 3 Brannon prints and seems to have been built in phases as each Brannon print of Ryde Pier Circa 1828-31 offers various stage views of the Hotel as it developed.
Ref Number: 00445
Early Ryde Foreshore
While it is challenging to make precise assessments of the early pictures, the architectural structures seen appear to be associated with the vicinity that was latterly occupied by the Royal Pier Hotel. It is important to observe the log pile going through the process of seasoning before to being utilised for the construction of boats. The central structure is well recognised as one of the earliest establishments serving as a public house or inn in Ryde. This establishment served as a resting place for visitors arriving from Portsmouth. Initially referred to as ‘The Passage Hoy’, it subsequently came to be known as ‘The Bugle’.
Early Esplanade Prints Around The Site Of The Royal Pier Hotel
Recent evidence indicates that the plate with a depiction of a horse and cart immersed in the sea was etched by William Westal ARA and afterwards published in the year 1842. This analysis aims to scrutinise the significant transformations that transpired over a span of 47 years during the given timeframe.The primary factor contributing to this phenomenon may be attributed to the construction of the pier in 1814, which facilitated uninterrupted trade and commerce by mitigating the adverse effects of tidal falls experienced in Ryde. Additionally, the attainment of town status in 1829 further bolstered this growth. The slipway prominently seen in the foreground was formerly referred to as the “Horseboat Slip,” which presently lies submerged beneath the concrete apron utilised by Hovertravel.
The Brannon Engraving depicts a number of buildings located in close proximity to the foundation of the little jetty or pier, with possible Bridgestock Terrace behind and the Parish Church on top of the hill. Clearly Brannon tried hard to fix as many know buildings in as possible as above the pier the ‘Prince Consort’ can be seen; a further detail could suggest in the far right of the engraving the possible towers of Osborne House. The artist in question has produced supplementary engravings that may be found in the archival documentation of engravers on the island.
The Coaching Era
On the slide show we can see 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.
The railway was completed and used for service in July 1880, we propose the pier and tramway image was taken in the early 1920s. Note at the end of the pier to the right what appears to be a paddle steamer.
The 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 slideshow with one 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 lasty image in the array 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 the bypass being that of the concrete road, that was curtailed, however, in the late 1960s. We have recently seen in 2023 another modification to the area and a major update to the gateway to the Isle of Wight as its now known!