Sort file:- Broadstairs, May, 2021.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 16 May, 2021.


Earliest 1882

Grand Hotel

Latest ????

Louisa Bay


Grand Hotel 1905

Above postcard, 1905.

Grand Hotel

Above postcard, date unknown.

Grand Hotel 1920s

Above postcard, circa late 1920s.

Grand Hotel 1930

Above postcard, 1930.

Grand Hotel 1930

Above photo, circa 1930.

Grand Hotel

Above postcard, overlooking Louisa Bay, date unknown.

Grand Hotel 1933

Above postcard, postmarked 1933.

Grand Hotel 1952

Above photo, 1952.

Grand pool

Above photo showing the swimming pool at the hotel, date pre 1980.


Built in 1882 by James William Hobbs for a cost of 78,000 and positioned on the cliffs overlooking Louisa Bay, the hotel had 110 bedrooms plus reading rooms, smoking rooms and a billiard hall.


Excerpts from Hobbs Builder, from Jabez by David McKie.

The Grand Hotel, Broadstairs, on its cliff overlooking the channel, was reputed to be the best in the town. Built ten years before, in 1882, at a cost of 78,000, the Grand, with its 100 bedrooms, its capacious reading and smoking rooms, its billiards hall, and its fine views over the sea towards Belgium, belonged, in its aspirations at least, to that class of lavish palaces built by Hobbs for Jabez’s empire. Guests would be met at Broadstairs station by horse-drawn omnibuses supplied by the hotel management. Once installed, they could stroll along the cliff walk, past the little bandstand where a military band would often be playing, through the gardens opened by Princess Louise only that year and down to the picturesque harbour. The Grand is a block of apartments now, with a pub in the basement, but it still has a sense of the confidence with which it opened its doors to welcome the privileged and prosperous to the coast of Kent.

Here, on Sunday, 11 December 1892, a man presented himself at reception to ask if a Mr. Granville Wright was staying at the hotel. He was, though quite why is not clear. Was he perhaps enjoying a quiet weekend with his mistress, Mrs. Maybury? Or could he have made it his base while he contemplated flight to safety across the Channel? If so, he was not going to make it, for Inspector Moore of Scotland Yard had been having him watched for some days. Mr. Wright was summoned from his room and moments later was being escorted away to the station for the London train. It would all have been done most discreetly, with the reputation of the Grand not for one moment imperilled.

Mr. Hobbs, the progressive builder, was not so fortunate. He had been holding one of the musical evenings of which he was famously fond and which Jabez loved to tease him about. Now the civilized tranquillity of the evening was interrupted by a knock on the door and an urgent summons. Inspector Moore, accompanied by Inspector Tunbridge, was anxious to have a word. The music was summarily halted, and the guests from whom he was taken said Hobbs had been deeply upset and had left loudly protesting his innocence.

Soon the news was all over Croydon. Wright’s arrest was a matter of minor significance - ‘a thin, weazened, and very irascible man’ the Croydon Times called him, who was nowadays rarely seen in the town. But Hobbs...! Like Jabez, he had twice been mayor of the borough; his fame as a builder and entrepreneur had spread well beyond Croydon; his cricket ground, close to his splendid house at Norbury, had seen W. G. Grace himself in action, and one of Queen Victoria’s sons, not......


Peter Hobbs kindly tells me the following:- The Samuel Butler of the chapter title proved to be Jabez Balfour incognito: he had fled to Argentina where there was no extradition treaty with UK, but his cashing of cheques against a Croydon bank was his undoing.

It took a couple of years for the UK police to get their man.

He was eventually returned to face a jury at The Old Bailey in October 1895. He got 14 years with hard labour but was released in 1906.

Sadly his investors never saw their money.


In 1938 the hotel was four star AA credited and a week's stay cost a mere nine guineas per person.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, 15 November 1884.


The Official Receiver (Mr. Leslie Creery, Ashford) brought forward his adjourned motion in the case re Oren, claiming possession of a valuable brass wardrobe, now in the "Grand Hotel," Broadstairs. Mr. Bird (London) appeared for Messrs. Paramor, Margate, by whom the wardrobe was also claimed, the bankrupt having assigned the property to them, and handed them the key in consideration for certain proceedings against Van Burl being stayed by the firm. The handing over of the key, it was contended, was sufficient to justify them in taking the wardrobe, but Mr. Dodson, of the "Grand Hotel," Broadstairs, refuses to hand over the property.

His Honour said the unfortunate part of the case for Messrs. Paramor was that they had to rely upon a document which required registration.

A very long legal argument took place regarding the constructive possession claimed by Mr. Bird, a verdict being ultimately recorded directing the wardrobe to be handed over to the Official Receiver, with costs against Messrs, Paramor.


Built around 1881 at what was then Queens Gardens, this was originally called the "Granville Road Hotel."


Thanet Times, Tuesday 2 August 1977.

Hotel man's drinking session four-year Ban of Licensee.

THE Co-licensee of the "Grand Hotel" in Broadstairs was fined 360 and banned from driving for four years on Thursday.

Chatham court heard that Anthony Barker took a car without the owner's consent and drove it home when he felt ill after a drinking session, but that on the way he was involved in an accident.

Barker (31) of Waterloo Road, Gillingham, admitted taking the car, driving it with excess alcohol, using it without insurance and with defective brakes. Two further charges of driving without due care and attention and falling to stop after an accident were withdrawn.

Barker was fined a total of 360, ordered to pay 9.80 doctor's fees and banned from driving for four years. He had admitted a previous offence for driving with excess alcohol in 1970.

Insp. Gerald Philpott, prosecuting, said the driver of a Mercedes car was overtaking a parked car in New Road, Chatham at 2 p.m. on 11 April when he felt a collision behind him and was knocked sideways into the road.

When he stopped, he saw an Austen van had crashed into the back of the parked car and the driver was walking away.


The police were called and while one dealt with the accident, another searched the area and found Barker about a mile away. He agreed to return to the van and admitted he was the driver.
A blood teat taken later at Chatham police station showed 251 m.g. of alcohol in 100 m.l. of blood - more than three times the legal limit.

lnsp. Philpott said when the van was inspected the handbrake was found to be faulty, as it would not stay on without being held.

Mr. Patrick Bligh, defending, said Barker went for a drink with friends at lunchtime and then went to sit in his friend's van as he felt unwell. He then returned to the pub and asked if he could be taken home, but when the friend did not come out, he took the van with the intention of driving it home.

"He was in a muddled state having had too much to drink and that is why he did this foolish thing," said Mr. Bligh.


From an email received 9 May 2019.

When I was a child, during the late 1940’s/1950s, my father a musician and trumpet player named Jack Ward of the Winston Lee Quintet, played summer seasons at the "Grand Hotel," in Broadstairs.

My mother and I joined him from Nottinghamshire every summer, for six glorious weeks in Broadstairs. We stayed in ‘digs’ with the Goldup family. (I may have misspelled the name Goldup) I remember a little boy of the family named Keith, (he’d be in his early 70’s now) but we stayed with the Grandma whom I knew as ‘Auntie Florrie’.

I have distinct memories of the Hotel, not of the ballroom, as I was but a little girl but of the morning outdoors sessions under a broad yellow and white striped awning at the side of the hotel and the band played whilst guests relaxed in the sunshine. (I’m certain the sun shone daily.) It must have been a performance for guests with children. I remember occasional ‘novelty numbers’ e.g. Jack playing with a monkey glove puppet, on his left hand, the monkey ‘playing the trumpet’ & doing a number called, “Little red monkey” After the session ended we always went to the Punch and Judy show on the beach, every day!!! I remember their dog, Toby, who sat on the shelf atop the Punch and Judy booth.


Diane Champion.



BUTTERFIELD Gulielmus 1890-91+

WRAIGHT Harry 1901+


BARKER Anthony 1977+


If anyone should have any further information, or indeed any pictures or photographs of the above licensed premises, please email:-