The primary function of this website is to provide a portal for owners of apartments in the Royal Squadron building.  

The Royal Squadron, formerly the Royal Kent Hotel

Prior to 1780 Ryde town was divided into two separate settlements, upper and lower Ryde, In lower Ryde were the huts of the longshoremen families, largely engaged in ferrying passengers and goods, and piloting ships. At the top of the steep rise was an agricultural community. The two settlements were connected by a track which roughly followed the route of the present day St Thomas Street.

Union Street was created in 1780 to join the two villages together. The width of the street (Originally two way) is reputed to have derived from the need to turn a horse and cart around in one single turn. The Royal Squadron building is situated at 70 Union Street, Ryde.

The Royal Squadron was formerly known as the Royal Kent Hotel (Built in 1835), and is reputed to be where Queen Victoria and Prince Albert stayed whilst making plans for Osborne House, they also held court on the first floor whilst Osborne House was being built.

The Queen and many other Royal visitors frequented the town and stayed in the hotel on several occasions but although popular with the Royals, Union Street was not always the privilege of the rich and famous and in the Summer of 1837 the 'Ryde Riots' (When the Tory, Mr Holmes, was elected) took place outside the hotel.

The first proprietor was a Mr Alexander Stephens who boasted that the newly built hotel was....

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"Situated in the principal street of the town, distant but a minute’s walk from the Pier, commanding most extensive and beautiful sea views, has been erected within the last two years, and fitted up in a style of elegance and comfort, including baths and every convenience fit for the accommodation of Aristocracy and Gentry, visiting the Island for the season, or on a tour." Kent Hotel 1.jpg (105099 bytes)

The capacious cellars had been stocked, "at an expense of several thousand pounds", with a vast choice of Wines, Spirits, Liqueurs and Champagnes. Dinner and Strong Ales were also brewed on the Premises.

This postcard indicates that the hotel was also known as "Wheeler's Hotel", Frank Wheeler is registered at the address in 1883.

In 1903 the hotel had a brief spell of being known as "Lorimer's Royal Hotel" when Alexander Lorimer took over the licence.

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Grade II listing

Description: The Royal Squadron Hotel Location: 70 Union Street, Ryde PO33 2LN
Grade: II Locality: Ryde
Date Listed: 24 October 1950 County: Isle of Wight
English Heritage Building ID: 417031 Country: England
OS Grid Reference: SZ5924292846 Postcode: PO33 2LN
OS Grid Coordinates: 459242, 92846  
Latitude/Longitude: 50.7322, -1.1619  

Large early C19 building with an elaborate front. Four storeys. Five windows on the top floor. Stuccoed, ground floor rusticated. Continuous iron balcony on first floor. Plain pilasters flanking the whole front above the ground floor and carried up above the parapet.

Three pairs of coupled and fluted Corinthian pilasters not projecting as far as these and from first to second floor only. Between them on first and second floors two large four-light bay windows containing French windows, with individual iron balconies on second floor. Cornice above the bays, which is continued along the front and supported by the Corinthian pilasters. Modillion cornice above this.

Five windows on the third floor flanked by plain pilasters, with frieze above and long recessed panel surmounted by dentilled cornice and crested parapet. Glazing bars intact. Entrance to yard through the ground floor at the South end.

The ground floor is now occupied by 'Coburgs' bar and music venue. The name is derived from Queen Victoria's German connections......

The Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld was one of the Saxon Duchies held by the Ernestine line of the Wettin Dynasty. Established in the 17th century, the Saxe-Coburg-Saalfield line lasted until the reshuffle of Ernestine territories that occurred following the extinction of the Saxe-Gotha line in 1825, in which the Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld line received Gotha, but lost Saalfeld to Saxe-Meiningen.

Queen Victoria was raised under close supervision by her German-born mother - Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. She inherited the throne at the age of 18 after her father's three elder brothers died without surviving legitimate issue. She married her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg.

Albert died at the early age of 42, plunging the Queen into a deep mourning which lasted for the rest of her life. Whilst in this long, drawn out period she would often seek solice at the Kent Hotel in Ryde, reminded of happier memories with her husband. Upon Queen Victoria's death in 1901, their son, Edward VII, succeeded as the first monarch of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

So this is where the venues name comes from, the royal (and largely unknown) second name of Queen Victoria & Prince Albert - in memory of a building they held very dear to their hearts.


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