the story of the  ROYAL HOTEL GRAHAMSTOWN THAMES NZ    a forgotten Edwardian beauty .......

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This over a hundred year  old Edwardian relic of the vibrant  gold  mining days in THAMES has enchanted me from the first time I ever set eyes on it over 12yrs ago..... it was then a sleeping ugly beauty, enshrouded in a miasma of decay, sordidness and neglect, a rusting rotting  rattling skeleton of a building infested with squatters, & druggies...I took many photos in 2000/1 of the peeling  time faded pink exterior, and may I say it was not a pretty sight, rusted out guttering had leaked rusty water all  down  the building for years, a sad and sorry sight, but hey shes been reprieved and now looking absolutely superb! I have recorded my first meeting  and ongoing adventures with this  once  forlorn abandoned Edwardian Lady which I will publish  as soon as the story reaches a conclusion....
I was fortunate  enough   to have had access to the Hotel to indulge my passion of keeping  a  photographic record this gorgeous musty relic of grander times alive and in the public arena.....which I happily do via this website......If  one had the means, it  should be purchased and preserved  as  it is, for  it is a rare mainly unaltered  example of an Edwardian hutch, and could be opened  up to the public for its historic &  intrinsic value..the matchboard linings are simply superb!  all the kauri doors architraves etc., are  just magnificent and could ideally be restored to its originality if possible... any redecorating should be kept in the theme and time of the building, that would  be the ideal situation........hmmm?
This gorgeous building is just so original and magnificent it should be kept intact and as much as possible unchanged for our future generations, its a time warp in Thames History!....
One is happy to say here that the Pattillo & Co have done a simply magnificent job of restoration, the old Hotel is looking absolutely superb! see ROYAL HOTEL UPDATES
Many grateful thanks to James , with his  blessings I have had free access & roamed around this shy sleeping beauty,over the last couple of years  taking photos of bits and pieces before they are gone forever...unfortunately most of the  inside had been stripped long ago over the previous  years, but I have still found some interesting bits  for History Buffs to come down memory lane with me please do and enjoy one of the few remaining complete Edwardian buildings still intact in New Zealand  with its virtually untouched original floor plan....fantastic!! ..One can imagine the ambience of yesteryear, gaslights glowing in the shadowy corridors..ghosts softly sighing, poor Carl crying......memories of bygone days......
.Please if you know of anyone who has worked in this Hotel, or has any photos or any informatiom
regarding the ROYAL HOTEL GRAHAMSTOWN THAMES NEW ZEALND, please get in touch  via the email below or leave your data in the guest book for others to enjoy the history of this lovely original Edwardian building.......Im certain there are many tales to tell of the days of yore......thank  you very much
Remains of an old bakerlite ceiling pull light, upstairs bedrooms Royal Hotel Thames NZ
c HGBOld gas light connection in ceiling for the days when the Royal Hotel Thames was on gas..
cHGBUtterly beautiful immaculate golden kauri   tongue & groove  lining, upstairs box room, it would be criminal to cover over this beautiful wood work
cHGBRoyal Hotel Thames, original old bolt on door
cHGBBathroom door, lovely warm glowing kauri, I do hope no one paints over these, it would be criminal!
cHGBThis rose in ceiling actually shows the original gas connection..Royal Hotel Thames NZ
c HGBOriginal gas light fitting..Royal Hotel Thames NZ
cHGBLight over old rose in ceiling, this is a luggage /storage room upstairsOne of the remaining tiled fireplaces in Royal Hotel Grahamstown Thames NZ
cHGBUp the chimney!
cHGBOld  original catchBill's cat enjoying relaxing on the Royal Hotel's veranda
cHGBOnly one I could solitary old Bakerlight switch in the Commercial Room of the Royal Hotel  Grahamstown Thames Nz

cHGBGreat sized double room, front bedroom with a view

cHGBmore simply super lovely tongue and groove wall linings,Where the hatchway from entry hall went into the Commercial Room, it was still there in  2002, main foyer Royal Hotel Thames NZ
cHGBbeautiful old original  Kauri doorsOld painted kauri door and metal finger push ( copper ?)

cHGBAnother metal door push..would look lovely all cleaned up, looks copper to me.....people who paint kauri doors need re educating badly!

cHGBKauri door minus handle & door push, & key hole pieces, someone had a great time removing all the Royal's bits and pieces..
cHGBAbsolutely super tongue & groove wall linings, I hope nobody covers all this lovely original timber over, that would be terrible

cHGBand more lovely all the wood in this building absolutely corker!!..
cHGBlooking down stairwell to landing, used to leak like a sieve here before restoration

cHGBAnother room painted, looking good!Hotel Royal veranda looking seawards, before restoration

cHGBBefore the present restoration.

cHGBTop room had toilet and washing facilities with  steps down to the yard on left, here there were 3 out buildings in the yard in the old being an outside loo where a gentleman was found dead one another ghost! french doors  have been added, they are not original.Front lounge, was painted a bright  salmon colour in 2000/1 didn't look too bad actuallyFlogged bottoms off arches and other bits around this service area which leads to large kitchen and  laundry etc.,
 cHGBTaken from the back door towards  original big kitchen on far right.. to left, kitchen, bathrooms &  laundry  note lovely old solid kauri floors in corridor
cHGBNice old kauri door note all original  fancy knobs and door plates etc., key locks.. gone....Taken before the present restoration.

cHGBwow! I found this only one original bakerlite pull light...I do so love all these original old  fittings...
cHGBVery atmospheric, looking down the corridor from the main dinning room towards the Hotel foyer..
taken before floors poilished 
cHGB..Lovely porcelian fittings matching the tongue and groove linings, all very original  and simply enchanting!

cHGBNice porcelian basin in keeping with the lovely tongue & groove lining, looks lovely, with showers installed as well, really lovely ambience.check out the lovely old taps! all in keeping with the period of the building..
cHGBMonsieur J Lobet, Nimes France, wandering down a atmospheric hallway... old kitchen on left down towards previous old  laundry and bathrooms,

c HGBLovely porcelain basin & tongue & groove walls complimenting the oldy worldy ambience of the Royal Hotel Grahamstown Thames NZ 2010

cHGBAn atmospheric hallwayThis is a pic of the Royal's bar rooms, one can see clearly the curved area on floor where the bar once stood and the trapdoor that goes to an underneath storage room.A victorian Kitchen, usually busy busy,there  no take aways in those days,  butter was made by hand, bread, pickles, jams, flour /sugar/salt was bought by the sack, storage was very importantAn 1890 Victorian bath...victorians also used hip baths...Old Engllish jar opener..Lovely green glass balcony doors Royal Hiotel Grahamstown NZ 
copyrightThe Royal Hotel had gas on at one stage and these are two Victorian English coloured glass etched gas lamp shades..Nice brass  light fittings Victorians had a love of Brass and copperVictorian door finger plates, all the doors of the Royal Hotel would have had finger plates at one stage, and quite ornate door handles and key covers.Victorians just loved moulded food stuffs, they had  jelly and food moulds  made out of  glass, copper and brass and tin.Victorian brass four poster bed, Victorians also loved creature comforts and their elegant beds were a reflection of this, also they would have had a marble washstand in the bedroom with water jug and basin.Natty Victorian nose glasses, one lens is normal & one!
Above the HOTELROYAL  in her heyday, with fine carriages bringing  the many guests from the nearby Grahamstown wharf..the Hotel has now been restored  beautifully with fretwork, finials etc., all restored and replaced. by J Pattello & hIs merry men!..
2nd photos The Hotel Royal  in  her grotty shabby  pink mode before  major ongoing restoration started in 2009

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