The actual architect of
the Hotel and Crescent is not known but is believed to be Portsmouth architect
Jacob Owen, Assistant Clerk of Works to the Royal Engineers Dept. of the Board
The Hotel, and the
Crescent, the brainchild of local entrepreneur Robert
Cruickshank, was completed in 1830. It is due to him that Gosport is able
to boast such a fine example of monumental seaside architecture. As usual in
those days, aristocratic patronage was necessary for continued success,
Cruickshank was fortunate in persuading the First Marquis
of Anglesey [The hero of the battle of Waterloo, where he lost a leg] to
lay the foundation stone. This took place on the 19th September 1826.
Unfortunately due to illness the Marquis
could not be present and the ceremony was performed by his son the Earl
of Uxbridge using a specially made silver trowel, still in the possession
of the present Marquis. It is inscribed "The first
stone of Anglesey Ville was laid by the Most Noble Marquis of Anglesey on the
19th of Sept 1826"
In order to attract people
to Anglesey a race course was put down. At the first race on the 28th August
1832 the Senior Steward was Lord Charles Wellesley [of
the famous Family]. There were six runners over a distance of one mile,
When Robert Cruickshank
died on the 13th February 1853 the Anglesey Hotel was left to his widow Harriet
Susanna, who by conveyance dated 4th July 1861 disposed of it to Richard
Henry Wyatt of Grosvenor Place, Hyde Park, London for the sum of £2,454
16s 5d. This included the adjoining house which at the time was used as part of
the hotel plus a parcel of land to the rear of the hotel. In 1878 Wyatt sold the
property to Samuel & Thomas Blake [Blake's
Breweries] for the sum of £1025.
Noted visitors to the
hotel have been frequent in history. It was one of the great south coast hotels
patronised by some of the celebrities of the day. Mainly of Royal Naval
heritage, due to the close proximity of the Naval Dockyards and Establishments.
Victoria [Later Queen Victoria] stayed at the hotel in 1830 when she came
to Gosport with her mother Victoria Maria Louisa of Saxe-Coburg, the Duchess
of Kent. In October 1839 it is recorded that Capt.
Charles Austin [Jane Austin's sailor brother] dined at the hotel and gave
a speech in honour of Robert Cruickshank.