History

The Royal Lion Hotel has a long and at times Illustrious history, though much has been forgotten we will update this page as more facts come to light.

Royal Lion hotel, Tenby

Hotel was formerly two separate buildings;

No 1 was the White Lion from c1800, one of the principal Tenby hotels, built partly on the site of the medieval North Gate demolished in 1781. Said to be mentioned circa 1605, certainly recorded in 1801. The Bowers family were landlords from at least 1850. Additions for William Bowers are recorded in 1853-4 to make 13 extra bedrooms and 3 sitting rooms, all with sea-view, which suggest the rebuilding of the front range. There were alterations in 1871, in 1876 a billiard-room was added in Upper Frog Street, built partly into the thickness of the town wall, and alterations proposed in 1912-13 by E G Thomas of Tenby included a billiard-room. By 1923 it was the Royal Lion Hotel.

No 2 was an early C19 private house known as Lavallin House from the mid C19 when owned by John Lavallin Puxley (died 1856) of Dunboy Castle County Cork, who built No 3 High Street in 1851. Puxley was listed in 1844 in the High Street, presumably here. The tall elevation and fine Bath stone cornice suggest that the house was rebuilt c1850, but it may be the remodelling of an earlier building. It was occupied by Alice F Marclun in 1891 and by the Conservative Club in 1966.

Tenby Harbour at low tide
Tenby Harbour at low tide

Interior
Interior of No 1 is much altered on ground floor for hotel.

No 2 has main room with elegant mid C19 plaster work. Cornice with egg-and-dart moulding, border with leaf and flower scroll, and center rose. Paneled shutters.

Tenby Harbour
Tenby Harbour

Exterior

No 1 is of painted stucco, large, of 4 stories and 3 bays capped by parapet with raised blocks between window bays, and broad band beneath. Plinth, channeled angle piers topped by S-shaped scrolls, the right scroll under band, the left scroll connecting across from pier to band which terminates short. Four-storey canted bay window each side with 2-4-2-pane sash windows, moulded timber cornices over each floor becoming heavier towards the top, the topmost cornice dentilled. Centre bay has paired small 4-pane sashes to 2 upper floors, the top pair recessed in a longer panel, the first floor has large 2-4-2-pane tripartite sash matching in scale the windows of the bay each side. Step up to centre recessed door in stucco rusticated doorcase with channelled pilasters, moulded capitals, stilted cambered head and cornice over. Cast-iron C19 royal arms in arch. C20 door. Rear wing running back along White Lion St.

No 2 has large painted stuccoed front with fine ashlar full entablature with deep frieze, moulded cornice and low parapet, presumably contemporary with the Bath stone front of No 3, dated to 1851. Three-storey, three-window range of plate glass sash-windows in moulded stucco shouldered surrounds, smaller on upper floor, and with cornices on main floors. No door.
Rear of unpainted stucco has moulded ashlar cornice and parapet, 3 dormers, 3-window range and end wall brick chimneys. Ground floor additions out to Upper Frog St, with roughcast wall, door to left, cambered-arched coach entry centre and C20 window right.

Prince Albert, Castle Hill, Tenby
Prince Albert, Castle Hill, Tenby

References
The Welshman, 13/10/1854;
Tenby Observer 6/3/1876, 7/9/1876, 7/11/1912;
Piggotts Directory 1844;
Archaeologia Cambrensis, 1896, pp 182-4;
Tenby Museum: Tenby High Street 1800-1998, research by E M Baker.
A. Squibbs, Old inns, taverns and hotels of Tenby.
Inormation from Robert Scourfield PCNPA.