This floating castle appears to be from an enchanted fable, but in actuality it is Europe's best preserved Renaissance water castle.
Once a coaching inn, the Lygon Arms is now a Grade II listed hotel in Broadway, Worcestershire. The current building dates from the seventeenth century and has hosted the top celebrities along with kings and royalty.
Originally built in the 14th century, the hotel’s location was a key connection between Wales, Worcester and London during the Elizabethan period. The earliest written record of the inn dates to 1377 and refers to the building as “The White Hart”. However, the listing dates the current structure to the early seventeenth century.
The coaching inn made it through times of turmoil and was sometimes involved in the events. In 1649, during the English Civil the inn served both sides of the fight. Oliver Cromwell famously stayed there before the Battle of Worcester in 1651 – a battle that would ultimately defeat the royalist cause. Charles I also used it as a place to meet his supporters during the unrest.
The inn continued to be used as a staging post into the eighteenth century for mail coaches traveling between London and Wales. By the 1900s, the Lygon Arms was owned by Sydney Bolton Russell, whose son, Gordon Russell, restored antique furniture for the hotel in a loft above the coach house. Gordon would eventually become one of England’s leading designers in the 1930s.
After first visiting the property in the early 1900s while he worked as a manager for the company, Sydney Russell renovated the property in a Tudor and Stuart period style, with the help of Charles Edward Bateman. Russell recounted the experience of acquiring the Lygon Arms in his book The Story of an Old English Hostelry, published in 1914. One year later he moved out of the newly refurbished hotel to the village of Snowshill with the intention of separating his business and personal life.
The renowned hotel has hosted many well-known guests. In 1963 Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor stayed at the hotel during the height of the scandal surrounding their affair. The hotel has also been visited by Prince Philip, Evelyn Waugh, and Kylie Minogue. Today, visitors are immersed in the history of this hotel, and can add their own names to the guest book that contains the names of stars, politicians, and princes.Know more? Share with us!
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