THE DECLINE AND DECAY OF AN EDWARDIAN BEAUTY
The ROYAL HOTEL has had only one group of owners that I can ascertain? over a short period of time a few years back it was leased as 'Royal Hotel Management'? In this short period of occupation, there was a effort to tidy the building up somewhat, a few of the rooms being painted, the main front room as I recollect was painted quite an attractive rose salmon shade, but it was dismal failure to rescue her from the appalling neglect of previous years gone by...that went by the board and squatters took over.....
I was so entranced by this beautiful forlorn abandoned building and her plight, that I have written an in depth story on my adventure with the Hotel Royal, called for more insight and some fascinating information and tales of long ago, go to papers past.......and learn something of the history of this gracious old building and the heady days of GOLD RUSH in the Thames area.....
Below are some of my photos taken of the effect of the ROYAL HOTEL'S neglect over the many years..... a huge building such as this needs much love, repair and most important... FUNDS.
2009 To date I can happily say that the present owners of the ROYAL have scheduled quite a lot of work on the interior which I hope to see sometime this month and will keep this site updated with the progress...
UPDATE 2011 The Royal Hotel has now changed hands, I have not had the opportunity to meet the new owners or see over the Royal again, so that is now a closed era...
I wish thank the previous owner Jimmy Pattello for giving me the opportunity to take a record of the Hotel before it is changed forever..thanks so much Jimmy!
May the dear old ROYAL have a happy future and may she never ever get to the dismal sad sorry state we found her in so many years ago..
Photograph showing the intersection of Brown and Albert Street, Grahamstown Thames New Zealand, circa 1900. To the left is the Wharf Hotel, to the right is the Bank of New Zealand, right halfway down is the Lady Bowen Hotel. Next is the Tom Dunbars Barber shop where the proprietor of the ROYAL HOTEL, Samuel Howard, was shot & wounded by James Moore 1901
At far end in the misty distance is the ghostly image of the Historic Edwardian Hutch Hotel Royal Thames NZ.
Photograph taken by William Archer Price in the early 1900's Credit,
" Price Collection Alexander Turnbull Library"
Permission of the ALEXANDER TURNBULL LIBRARY
WELLINGTON NEW ZEALAND, must be obtained before any reuse of.
Below is a photograph of old Grahamstown Thames New Zealand, showing on the right the Wharf Hotel,
now a private residence....to the left, the Bank of New Zealand Thames, vanished into Nature's melting pot! Further down Brown Street on the right, the building with the veranda is the original LADY BOWEN HOTEL, now a thriving pack packers Lodge.
And down the street at the end, looking like a phantom, very ghostly in the misty light, is the ethereal image of the beautiful Historic listed grade 2 Heritage Edwardian ROYAL HOTEL. These are the only three Hotels remaining today from this once thriving Gold mining area of Grahamstown. Thames boasted a list of 80 hotels in the year 1872!. In 1864 it was the HOTEL THEATRE ROYAL AND CAFE. which unfortunately burnt down in 1903 and was then rebuilt as the Royal Hotel in 1904/1905.This survivor into the 21st century has had a long hard and colourful history. It is one of three buildings that have survived the march of time in this immediate area. The other two buildings,the original WHARF HOTEL and THE LADY BOWEN have both been maintained over the years, one being a beautiful private residence, and the other a thriving backpackers, alas the ROYAL HOTEL has not been so fortunate, neglected and forgotten for over half a century. home only to squatters, and ghosts!
The photograph below is an exciting and colourful window into THAMES rich GOLD mining era..
Photograph showing the intersection of Brown and Albert Street, Grahamstown Thames New Zealand, circa 1900. To the left is the Wharf Hotel, to the right is the Bank of New Zealand, right halfway down is the Lady Bowen Hotel. Next is the TOM DUNBARS Barbers shop where the proprietor of the ex Theatre ROYAL HOTEL, Samuel Howard, was shot & wounded by James Moore in December 11th 1901
At far end in the misty distance is the ghostly image of the rare Edwardian Hutch Hotel Royal Thames NZ.
From the first time we saw the Royal Hotel Grahamstown Thames, I have taken photos, unfortunately the 2001 photso were on my old wins 95 and mostly got deleted, these showed in depth the rusted out guttering, rotten boards from water dripping from the roof, water pouring down the stairwell in the rain , raw sewerage overflowing at the side of the building, we did inform the council at that time about the health hazard, now to see this Historic listed 2 building in her beautifully restored present state for me is an utter joy, my mate Jimmy Pattello gave me the run of the place to take photos at will and I am forever grateful for that chance to m,ake and have a record of this Grand Lady's rescue & comeback!
This site was last updated: March 7, 2019
KINDLY NOTE --ALL MY PRIVATE PHOTOS OF HOTEL ROYAL INTERIOR/EXTERIOR/ANTIQUES/ ETC.,/ARE COPYRIGHT TO ME...AND/OR JIMMY PATELLO/PHIL SAYER/REG BLOMFIELD PAUL SAYER. -2019