Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Hanging wall-façade of Claremont Hotel, Eastbourne …




One of my constitutionals along the sea-front ‘rewarded’ me by showing the hanging wall outline of the poor old conflagrated Claremont Hotel – now almost down to its bare footprint.


Claremont wall - next to adjoining to Burlington Hotel
- fortunately not burnt
 As you can see – the co-joining wall, between the fire at the Claremont and the Burlington Hotel (fortunately not burnt too much) ...




Slippage caused from the fire and in process of
demolition of Claremont wall 
... is now handily hangily exposed – meaning some form of reparation can be done, after which the Grand Parade can be re-opened to traffic …




What also interested me was the exposure of the lower ground floor … 


Demolition in progress ... but showing the
lower basement levels in the hotel -
the sea cannot be far away
... because at one stage (even today) the ‘tide could work’ its way into the town … swamping basements – so I was surprised to find these lower levels so near the sea here.



Summer 2016 - carpet gardens on Grand Parade -
Queens Hotel at an angle, before the run
of the two hotels: Burlington and Claremont

A photo I took in 2016 ... to show you the partial extended run of buildings along the Grand Parade seafront.


Back to hanging façades – this one jauntily left sadly suspended at the first floor level of the junction wall to the Burlington Hotel … reminded me of one that is exhibited in the Victoria and Albert Museum …




Jettied frontage as exhibited
in the Victoria and Albert Musuem


… the jettied wooden frontage of Sir Paul Pindar's house exhibited at first floor level, as it would have been in Bishopsgate Street Without (just outside the City walls) in the 1600s …





The article below is really interesting … giving insights into London in the 1600s, its development, trade routes, meeting places et al …


Sir Paul Pindar and his brother, Ralph -
engravings by Thomas Trotter based on
a work of 1614
The frontage survived the Great Fire of London in 1666, and in the article there are some images from those times, showing its situation … before the house was demolished in the 1890s when the expansion of Liverpool Street station took place.



Fortunately it was realised the façade had architectural value … hence its presentation to the Victoria and Albert Museum.



Chrysanthemum on seafront
Funny (strange) how subjects can appear to provide an extra dimension to my posts …




Ceanothus


While ‘wandering’ around on my walks – I spotted these two beautiful plants in full April lock-down glory – a bright canary yellow Chrystanthemum indicum … I believe … while I’ve always loved Ceanothus – that blue is just gorgeous …





Two skeletal remains … one very sad, one in perfect health, suspended in perpetuity, at a museum of delight.


Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

31 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hopefully they finish soon as that does look really sad half destroyed like that.

Joanne said...

your last line is stellar. The skeletal remains, then the beauty of the flowers. Wow. And the sea shall win, that's for sure.

Hels said...

We lived in the UK for a few years and I wanted to stay. As long as it was on a beach!! So I looked from Dover to Bournemouth, and loved it all. But Joe got a job at home, alas for me.

What a heartbreaker destruction is, from whatever cause :(

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Everything - just hanging - waiting... spring has truly sprung up this way, too, thankfully. YAM xx

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

The old hotel does look very sad indeed. I remember them demolishing a building in Cambridge a few years back and revealing not only someone's hideous taste in wallpaper but also a picture still hanging on a wall!

David M. Gascoigne, said...

Good morning Hilary: I suppose that vestiges of former grandeur exist, but some, like this one, are succumbing to the ravages of time, disaster and the colossal sums need to refurbish such grand old structures. You narrative, as always, is delightful. Stay well during these difficult times. Soon perhaps the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel will start to shine a little brighter.

bookworm said...

To see anything from the 1600's in my country (the United States) would be an amazing thing or part of an archeological dig - that is what we get in a country that is comparatively young. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Alex - it will remain 'in wraps' for the time being ... but at least it will be secured - and in due course something will happen ... in this day and age - when is more uncertain.

@ Joanne - yes it's amazing how far the sea reaches in via the shingle on which Eastbourne has been built ... particularly to the east of the town - i.e beyond The Queen's Hotel ...

The word skeletal just came into the brain, but the flowers are lovely in the sun at the moment ...

@ Hels - interesting you wanted to stay here in the UK ... I wonder which town you'd have ended up in; I think Eastbourne is possibly a good choice ... well I've enjoyed my time here ... cultural, yet fairly restrained ...

Yes - fire destruction is just awful ... whereas Sir Pindar's frontage is just wonderful it was considered of architectural value and thus given to the V+A Museum ...

@ Yam - certainly the poor old Claremont will be left derelict for a while; but having the longer days is just so wonderful ...

@ John - I know ... poor old hotel - and they don't know how the fire started yet. It's not fun to see: a burnt charred wreck ... but the remains in a house as it's demolished is quite informative ... but ghastly wallpaper and probably a similar picture - one just wonders about the rest of the decor before the demolishment ...

@ David - yes the Claremont had been altered a lot since the 1850s ... ie converted from a major residence, into terraced homes, before ultimately being converted into a hotel at the end of the 1800s.

Now I suspect 'colossal sums' will be required to make reparations ... in the future.

I just hope the end of the tunnel is getting brighter ... but we need to see. As you say ... staying safe is so important at the moment ...

@ Alana - I know ... yet here ... there's so much from the 1600s and before ... if Henry VIII hadn't been quite so destructive in his political/noble intent ... we'd have lots more 'to show off' ... when I'm in the States - people often stopped me ... just to talk about our history ...

Thanks for visiting everyone ... and for your thoughts - stay safe and look after your loved ones ... Hilary

L. Diane Wolfe said...

That wouldn't be very good if water got in there now.

Elephant's Child said...

What an intriguing post. I do love the places and the juxtapositions that your mind gives us.
And of course the gardener in me latched onto the plants. Blue Pacific ceanothus is very popular here and blazes in many a garden.

diedre Knight said...

Awesome pictures, Hilary! And remarkable glimpses of time in its passing. I liked how they kept (to a degree) the architectural design from one period to the next. I wonder why they didn't use stilts for higher tides or possible floods. In an odd way, demolition makes it easier to focus on the future.
"Blue Pacific ceanothus" sounds as if it could thrive here - or at least on the west coast. It sure is beautiful ;-)

Sandra Cox said...

Another fascinating post. That ceanothus sure looks like lilac doesn't it?
Stay healthy. Stay safe.
Cheers,

Liz A. said...

It's always interesting to see things being built or restored.

Chatty Crone said...

You are a genius compared to me - but I did 'get' your last line. So true to see devastation and beauty right next to one another - one is spared the other gone.

Anabel Marsh said...

How sad to see a grand old building with all its innards posed like that.

Inger said...

It's really sad that the hotel burned down. Didn't you have a fire on the pier or somewhere close some years ago too? I have now decided to look up your town and learn some more about it. It must have been a place where the gentry gathered in the 19th century. That picture with the flowers looks so elegant.

Kay G. said...

I am so sorry about the hotel fire. I know the Eastbourne seafront very well and I know what a great loss this truly is.

Also, I must tell you that I ADORE the blue of the ceanothus, although I can never, ever spell it correctly! (My father in law has one in his garden in Eastbourne!)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Diane – the rain can get in, but that’ll be fine … it’s the high and spring tides that can and do occasionally breach through the shingle …

@ EC – you were lucky I held back for next week with the rest of the linked subjects! I just loved the bushes …bright and cheerful – while the ceanothus was a gorgeous bushy one … which I put my head and iphone into for the photo. Ceanothus really spreads its beautiful wings here at this time of year – I love seeing it … and I know your love of all things garden …

@ Diedre – thank you … I got to the hotel before that façade was removed or covered up. The Pindar house wooden frontage is quite extraordinary to see … and wonderful that it lasted – I must get to see it at the V+A …

Re the building – this area at one stage was a Roman villa – and the land is shingle, which the Victorians shored up along the western end of the frontage – with another post next week – showing the extent of the engineering … also the constant power of the waves never stops. Our tidal range and wave power isn’t conducive to using stilts to build.

That’s not a brilliant explanation … but it’s a complicated seafront – with lots of Victorian engineered buildings and building works being carried out in the 1800s … on a seafront that wasn’t stable …

@ Sandra – yes it was a bushy ceanothus … but lilac has more pendulous flower bracts – and has a wonderful scent.

@ Liz – Eastbourne’s development is interesting …

@ Sandie – it’s always interesting to see how things change over time – but wonderful when spectacular things are preserved.

@ Anabel – the building itself has an interesting history … subdivided from one residence into separate houses, into a hotel (length) … so it’s probably good it can be rebuilt (safety wise) … and the fire happened when everyone was up and about … saving lives.

@ Inger – it’s got an interesting history, particularly the Victorian engineered seafront … which is quite difficult to explain and which I’ve only recently got to grips with; yes, the pier went up in smoke in July 2014 – which is just opposite the Claremont.

The development by the Victorians was ‘dominated’ by class division … places for the gentry, different areas for the ‘middle’ classes … while the poor, servants had very little access … and were mostly excluded …

@ Kay – it’s challenging by not having the seafront open – now perhaps not so much … as we’re in lock-down. The ceanothus really does bring that purple-blue haze to the fore in certain places – I love it too …

Take care everyone – and look after yourselves … stay safe and thank you for coming by and commenting - Hilary

Elsie Amata said...

The beauty of the flowers adds to the hope of the continued reparation of the Claremont. Your pictures of it really show how just how big (and stunning) it still is even after the fire.

Stay healthy and safe,
Elsie

Deborah Weber said...

Such interesting images! It does seem like you were "rewarded" during your walk. There is something both haunting and promising held here. And yay for the flowers - nothing quite like them to offer a cheery perspective.

Jacqui Murray said...

It is so sad to see such a glorious building struggling to survive. I really got a sense of that from your pictures.

bazza said...

When was that devastating fire Hilary? So sad to see but you found a positive and a contrast!
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s truculently tenacious Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Keith's Ramblings said...

Hardly the hanging gardens of Babylon! Good to see that spring blossoms are cocking a snoop at the pandemic and not social distancing!

Jo said...

I wonder if they have had problems with the sea. There are all kinds of places built on or close to water which are now having problems. Gather the Houses of Parliament are sinking for a start. Then all the fire damage, fire is no respecter of ancient buildings, look what it's done to Notre Dame. Then the forests of the world. Just too much.

Vallypee said...

You’re really making me see what a lovely town Eastbourne is, Hilary. I never realised that before. Your photos are beautiful and I too loved your last lines: ‘suspended in perpetuity’ as they are here!

retirementreflections said...

I fully agree. Your last line in brilliant!

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

So interesting with such amazing photos, I hope it could bee restored to beauty

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Elsie – the seafront is a mile long stretch of houses and hotels … an amazing run of promenade; while the plants blooming in people’s gardens, and the parks are just lovely to see.

@ Deborah – yes there’s usually something rewarding to find, or watch out for as I go on my walks. The promising seems a long way off for the ‘old hotel’ … but it’s still being preserved and blocked off til a way forward is found. The trees with all their greens, and colourful blooms at all levels is just gorgeous …

@ Jacqui – it is sad … but in fact it probably has a silver lining – being brought into the 21st century building regulation wise – it will in due course rise phoenix like …

@ Bazza – the fire was at the end of November last year – while the pier’s was at the end of July 2014 … both not long ago. I love the fact that Sir Paul Pindar’s 400 year old façade hangs – literally – in the Victoria and Albert Museum …

@ Keith – no certainly not … and they’re digging it out now … when I was down yesterday. At least nature is just carrying on … which does bring a smile to our faces …

@ Jo – certainly the town suffers from tidal ingress particularly at high spring-tide time – but perhaps the foundations were sufficiently water-tight over the years … coffer dams were known about in the 1800s … one day I’ll ask someone.

The foundations of the Palace of Westminster are unknown … as the Palace has been built up over the centuries … and London ‘sits’ on various differing layers of sedimentary rocks … soft mudstones and sandstones – which is why until recently London doesn’t have too many skyscrapers … and it is next to the River Thames – which with the tidal flow stresses and strains the river bank.

It is as you say sinking into the mud … now we probably need some extra positivity and pounds to deal with it!

@ Val – it’s a more aesthetically interesting town than others along the coast – as its development was controlled by the two main landowners – Duke of Devonshire, and the Gilbert-Davies … there are caveats in place re building works …

@ Donna – the phrase came to me …

@ Jo-Anne – it’s an interesting town …

Thanks so much to you all – we’ll see what happens re restoration … they are still putting it under wraps until it can be rebuilt … take care and stay safe - Hilary

Lynda Dietz said...

I love any old architecture! Restored, in disrepair, half-ruins, you name it.

Jz said...

That jettied frontage is gorgeous!
How lucky that it was saved.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Lynda - it can lead us to so many places ... in whatever state we find it in ... so much to investigate and wonder at ... each ruin ...

@ Jz - I know I couldn't resist the jettied frontage - just fantastic it survived those four hundred years ...

Thanks so much for visiting - all the best - Hilary