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The Central Hotel - Past and Present


Watchet's Heritage - The Central Hotel

Watchet's Historical Buildings
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Watchet's Historical Buildings
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Although by no means the oldest property in Swain Street, this is certainly the most historically important.

This building was once the Central Hotel and holds a significant place in the town's history as it was here, following the great storm of 1900 that destroyed the harbour, that the decision was made by Watchet councillors to take the status of an Urban District Council enabling it to secure funds to rebuild it. It was also these councillors who secured the distinctive building that until recently had served as the Council Chambers (now the Fishing Tackle Shop).

Architecturally, it is very interesting. Despite losing its bay windows, it has retained a rare feature - the alabaster keystones that are visible above the doorway, passageway and windows (taken from the beach here at Watchet). The only other known examples are across the water in Cardiff.

Also within the construction are the distinctive yellow bricks imported from the brickworks at Ebbw Vale. For a number of years, from at least 1888, the Central Hotel was a temperance hotel.

Currently split into two shops, the old structure can still be seen

For further information about the town as a whole,
please visit the home page or click

This page is provided by Watchet Conservation Society with the help of Watchet Chamber of Trade
and with funding from Somerset West & Taunton Council's High Street Emergency Fund.
Text and history provided by Nick Cotton