Teenage Victoria visited the hotel before she became queen
Among many distinguished visitors to The Castle Hotel, in 1832 hosts Samuel and Cordelia Owen were honoured to serve lunch to the heir presumptive to the throne, the 13-year-old Princess Victoria. She was on a daytrip to the town during an extended summer visit to North Wales with her mother, the glamorous Duchess of Kent.
The letter D carved in stone high above the hotel portico commemorates the ownership of Miss Sarah Dutton, from the late 1860s until her death, aged 84, in 1920. In the 1890s she commissioned the famous Chester architect John Douglas to create a new façade for the building in the neo-Jacobean style we see today. She also commissioned the artists Buckley Ousey and John Dawson Watson to produce the many works that still adorn the interior.
Guests will be intrigued by the hotel’s associations with the three bridges over the River Conwy. The hotel was doubled in size in anticipation of the first – Thomas Telford’s splendid suspension bridge, which opened in 1826. To celebrate completion of the railway bridge in 1848, a dinner was held at The Castle Hotel and attended by the bridge designer and famed railway engineer Robert Stephenson together with his even-more-famous father, George Stephenson, the ‘Father of the Railways’. In 1955, the Minister for Transport was the chief guest at a lunch at The Castle Hotel to celebrate work starting on the third bridge – a new road crossing.