Former Deganwy Castle Hotel
The nucleus of this former hotel is a building, once known as Tyddyn Deganwy, which is thought to date from the 17th century and features thick walls, a large cellar and three big chimney stacks. These all point to it having affluent owners.
It was still a private house when the nearby Deganwy rail station opened in 1866. The station and Deganwy’s pleasant shoreline location triggered a building boom. The Deganwy Castle Hotel had opened by 1882, after a few years when it was home to a school called St Oswald’s College. The building was enlarged several times from 1882 to 1935, including the addition of the four-storey tower – a prominent landmark.
In 1959 the hotel was acquired by musician Jess Yates and his new wife Elaine Smith, a model who adopted the name Helene Thornton. He was best known for his television show Stars on Sunday. He had grown up in Llandudno and began his career playing the organ in cinemas in Colwyn Bay and Llandudno. He died in 1993, aged 73. His grave is in the Great Orme cemetery.
In 1959 Helene Thornton gave birth to her daughter, Paula Yates, whose father was television presenter Hughie Green. Paula grew up believing Jess was her father. She became a model and TV presenter, married rock stars Bob Geldof and Michael Hutchence and died, aged 40, of a heroin overdose in 2000.
The hotel closed in January 2010. In July 2012 work began on the building’s £2m conversion into apartments known as The Moorings, reverting the site to residential use.
Postcode: LL31 9DA