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(Tuesday 25 July 2017) Following the devastation of The Royal Clarence Hotel in October 2016 and months of careful deconstruction that have taken place since, the first plans will be put forward this week when outlines for the external façade are shared with the people of Exeter. A public consultation for external plans will take place at St Martins Church in Cathedral Close between 2-8pm on Wednesday 26 July, open to all and with feedback forms available for visitors.
As pledged by owner Andrew Brownsword at the time of the fire, the new façade shows a restored frontage, designed to stay as true as possible to the original. Working closely with Historic England and Exeter City Council, every effort has been made to preserve surviving features of historic and architectural importance, with restored features including distinctive iron work and stained glass windows.
Andrew Brownsword CBE DL comments, “This is such a wonderful moment, after the initial heartbreak and months of deconstruction, to start to look towards to the future and to restoring The Royal Clarence’s historic frontage. 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”.
Working in partnership with construction consultants Thomasons and architects Buttress, a director of Buttress, David Shatwell, commented “We are very excited to be moving onto the next stage to rebuild and restore The Royal Clarence. 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”.
Plans for the interior of the hotel are currently being designed. 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.