Site of Station Hotel
Stena House occupies the site of the Station Hotel, pictured right. This grand building was erected by the London & North Western Railway to replace the Royal Hotel, which the Chester & Holyhead Railway had acquired in 1850 as the Eagle and Child, built c.1800.
A £64,807 contract for the station and hotel was awarded in 1877 to Messrs J Parnell & Sons. The new facilities, along with harbour improvements, were opened by the Prince of Wales on 17June 1880. He arrived at Holyhead at 8.30 am, breakfasted in the hotel, and after various formalities boarded the new LNWR steamer Lily. With spectators at the harbour sides and steamers dressed with flags, Lily passed out of the harbour to the salutes of warships in the bay. On the Prince’s return, lunch was served to almost 1,000 guests in the export goods shed (now Terminal One), which had been transformed into a pavilion for the occasion.
The hotel had 75 rooms and 60 staff. Guests could even avail themselves of the hotel’s own 18-hole golf course. A large clock (pictured right) to commemorate the Prince’s visit was placed in the station circulating area, facing the sea. The clock is now at the front of Stena House.
With railway nationalisation after the Second World War, the station hotel passed to the British Transport Commission, which sold the hotel’s golf course in June 1950 for £9,000 to the Holyhead Golf Club.
The sleeping accommodation and dining facilities on the motor mail vessels Cambria and Hibernia, introduced in 1948, led to the hotel’s closure in 1951. The last manageress was Miss Thomson, who had served there for many years. The building was used as railway offices, dealing with Sealink ferry tickets, until the 1970s. It was demolished in 1979.
In 1990 the foundation stone was laid for a £3m “travellers’ centre” at the site, promoted by Sealink Harbours Ltd, British Rail and Ynys Môn Borough Council. The aim was to provide modern facilities for passengers, a conference centre and offices for harbour management. A bridge across the railway to the town centre was included. Today the building is known as Stena House and includes the Holyhead harbour offices.
With thanks to Captain Wyn Parry
Postcode: LL65 1DQ
Other RAILWAY HiPoints in this region:
Former railway goods shed, Llangefni