Empire Hotel

link_to_french_translationThe Empire Hotel, Church Walks, Llandudno

image of empire hotelThis building was erected in 1854 as Llandudno’s first modern department store (pictured right). It had a chemist, a grocer and an Italian warehouse. It was run by a 23-year-old Denbigh man named Thomas Williams, who might be described as Llandudno’s first entrepreneur. He published a Visitor’s Handbook in 1855 in which were advertised the commodities that the chemist sold, including  Atkinson’s Bear Grease, fresh German leeches, Dr. Erasmus Wilson’s Hair Wash, gunpowder, Oriental Toothpaste and  fire insurance.

At the rear of the property were the engineering workshops for the Great Orme copper mines. At each side were steam pumping engines, a waterwheel and mineshafts.

The building was reconstructed in 1904 as an hotel. The present owners, the Maddocks family, extended it considerably to the rear, providing a modern swimming pool. They also created the pillared front porch. The pillars, bought at Sotheby’s auction rooms, were originally given by Queen Victoria to the Winter Gardens at St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex.

With thanks to John Lawson-Reay, of the Llandudno & Colwyn Bay History Society

Where is this HiPoint?

Postcode: LL30 2HE

Website of the Empire Hotel

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